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November 19
2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]


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NOTE: This applies ONLY to customers of the Valencia Water Company. It does NOT apply to customers of the Santa Clarita Water Division, Newhall County Water District or L.A. County Water Works District 36.

 

The Valencia Water Co. Board of Directors voted Sept. 1 to adopt a revenue adjustment surcharge of 41.2 cents per 100 cubic feet of water (748 gallons), an increase of 32.4 cents over the existing revenue adjustment surcharge, to help the water company recover more than $5 million in lost operating revenue due to the extended drought. The new surcharge rate will take effect Oct. 1.

The approved surcharge adjustment is 20 percent lower than what was originally proposed. The Board decided on the lower increase following a review of input VWC received from customers and after receiving assurances from staff that a lower surcharge rate would not impact water company operations.

For Valencia Water Co.’s typical customer, the adjusted surcharge rate will result in an increase of approximately $6.48 on a monthly water bill. Under the original proposed surcharge adjustment, the increase in the typical monthly water bill would have been $8.54. By reducing the surcharge increase, VWC expects the temporary adjustment will be in place for a longer period in order to fully recover lost revenue. It should be noted that existing monthly service charges do not change under today’s action and VWC customers continue to enjoy the lowest water rates in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Valencia Water Company requires a minimum level of revenue for operations and to maintain its vast and reliable water system. Revenue from water sales pays for the many fixed costs in operating the water company. Several efficiency measures have been taken over recent years to help avoid rate increases. However, VWC won’t defer maintenance and run the risk of service interruptions.

A temporary increase in the surcharge rate was required because of a significant drop in water sales over the past several months. A five-year drought prompted the state to impose mandatory water restrictions, which resulted in VWC customers reducing their water use by 30 percent or more for an extended period. While VWC salutes customers for their water-saving efforts, the water company also requires a minimum level of revenue for operations and system maintenance.

 

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4 Comments

  1. GaryS says:

    They lose revenue not because of the drought, but because of lower billings due to conservation by their customers. So their customers savings by complying with the need to conserve is eliminated by this price hike to compensate for their loss of revenue. What a scam. Any private company would have to lower their costs to adjust to the lower revenue to compensate. Man, it must be nice to be a monopoly!

  2. Koren Young Koren Young says:

    “Revenue adjustment surcharge” sounds so nice, doesn’t it? This is why our water consumption is 1/4 what it was two years ago, but the bill comes to the same amount.

  3. Cali Kid says:

    We all did such a wonderful job conserving water so we would not receive penalties, that we are rewarded with a rate hike. Maybe VWC should have had a reserve account to cover the difference. This is a 🐓💩 move to have the customer pay for and cover the cost of their poor decisions.

  4. Richard Hood says:

    Written Objection

    Open Letter to Valencia Water Company:

    On behalf of all the non-retired, and therefore too tired at the end of the day to read and decipher your gobbledygook or attend meetings designed to lessen their disposable income while benefitting others, I’m sending this written objection to your rate increases, just as I would vote against raising taxes and bond measures designed to bail out administrators who can’t hold to a simple budget.

    This attempt to raise rates is probably just another end-run around what, if put on a ballot, would be voted down. Maybe it wouldn’t be, but I hope it would, as I can’t imagine the water would stop flowing if you don’t get your increase. Why else would anyone want to give you more money? If they did, they are free to simply send more, as you are free to send more than required to the IRS every year. Do you do that? Do you do that even though some government employees say their departments really need the money? Then why are you asking others to do what you yourselves won’t do? If you want to be of service, show leadership by example.

    I understand your points of wanting more money and of costs going up, I just don’t believe they are good arguments. Not all consumer’s incomes go up when your costs do. If a child spends their allowance every time they want something, they won’t have it for what they really need, but have to go back to mom and dad (the taxpayers) continually. Sound familiar? Time to man-up.

    What does it say about those in charge of oversight of making our system work, when the people being served don’t even bother to object to increases because they think the fix is in – that increases will happen anyway, and that it is futile to try and stop it?

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