Happy Valley citizens stop water rate hike

Happy Valley landowners gathered enough protest letters to stop a huge water rate hike.

Posted: Oct 4, 2020 7:10 PM
Updated: Oct 10, 2020 6:59 PM

Updated October 10th, 2020People in Happy Valley are not going to have to pay the water rate hike they were worried about. 

The proposal from a third-party company was supposed to move forward to the Clear Creek Community Services District Board next week.

People in Happy Valley say they gathered more than enough protest letters to stop the proposal. 

The letters are being brought to the board on Monday, October 12th. The proposal still has to go to the board as a formality, but because there are enough protest letters the proposal has been canceled. 

The board now has to look at new ways to make up their shortfall. 

HAPPY VALLEY, Calif. - The Clear Creek Community Services District is looking at a proposal that would increase water prices for Happy Valley customers. 

"Basically my husband and I are not going to be able to afford this rate hike. I mean it's more than my social security check," said Sandra Winters who lives in the Happy Valley area of Shasta County.

Winters owns a property in the area where she has cattle and a horse. She explained the district had an independent study done that recommended raising the prices of their water service.

"If you have a large agricultural meter like mine -  is a four-inch reduced to a two-inch - $680.39 before we even just get one drop of water," said Winters. 

Winters explained that price is just for the meter only, and then base rates will be charged according to the amount of water that goes through that meter. 

"But that is not fair. We should just be paying for that water that goes through the meter, no matter what size that is. That is what we should pay for," said Winters.

She told Action News Now reporter Amy Lanski the community is coming together to sign protest letters. 

"If we get 1,179 protest ballots handed in - well, plus one - we need to have more than 50%.  But then it is defeated," said Winters. 

Irwin Fust is the vice-chair of the governing board of the Clear Creek Community Services District. Fust explained that even if they have enough protest letters (more than 50%), the proposal still has to go to a hearing, but then it could be defeated. 

He explained if they don't get all the protest letters then the board has three choices. 

"The board can either deny the rate increase outright, approve the rate increase outright, or the board can modify the rate increase," he said.

Fust added he thinks the price is too much for the owners.

"I think that a rate increase for this district is in the works, and it will have to be, but the rate increase that is put before us now -  I think that is too much," said Fust.

Fust says there has to be a better way to increase the rates.

The last day to get a proposal letter to the board is October 12, 2020 by 6:00 p.m.

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