SV to consider water rate increase
by Peter Burke / Press-Banner
Nov 13, 2009 | 2026 views | 6 6 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Scotts Valley Water District is considering an increase to its water rates to keep up with inflation and maintain the district’s infrastructure.

If approved by the district’s board of directors, the three-tiered rate increase would take effect Feb. 15 and Dec. 15, 2010, and Dec. 15, 2011.

Charlie McNiesh, the district’s general manager, said this increase is a “modest increase at the rate of inflation” and added that raising rates now would avoid the district having to make a larger increase in the future.

The increased fee revenue would help the district maintain Scotts Valley’s pipes, tanks, water treatment plant and wells, as well as continue the services it offers.

“We do have a few years of pretty stable income and expenses,” McNiesh said. “There are no foreseeable major outlays that would cause a reversal (in that trend).”

McNiesh said the only major project the district might undertake using cash from water rates and district reserves is to build a replacement well to tap a deeper part of the aquifer from which Scotts Valley draws its water.

Other large-scale capital projects, including a much-discussed recycled water pipeline between Scotts Valley and Pasatiempo Golf Club, would be paid for through other sources, McNiesh said.

The district most recently raised rates in 2007 and 2008 — a 9 percent increase in Feb. 2007, and 6 percent increases in both December 2007 and December 2008.

That increase helped the district build its reserves, according to water district management. Today, the district is in a more stable financial position.

If approved, the forthcoming increase would be roughly 2 percent for most households in 2010 and 2011 and less than 7.5 percent both years for customers who use more than 50,000 gallons every two months.

The average household in Scotts Valley uses a little more than 16,000 gallons during each two-month billing cycle.

If the board approved the rates Thursday, Nov. 12, the district is scheduled next week to mail a letter with the proposal to customers. Under the preliminary schedule, customers have until Feb. 11 to file a protest of the rate increase with the district. By law, if more than half of the district’s customers protest the increase, it will not be implemented.

Valid protests must be in writing, be signed by the property owner, include the proper assessor’s parcel number, and be delivered to the district.

The public hearing during which the board will vote on the rate increase is scheduled for

7 p.m. Feb. 11 at district headquarters, Two Civic Center Drive, in Scotts Valley.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Deflation this year
November 20, 2009
"The Scotts Valley Water District is considering an increase to its water rates to keep up with inflation"

Does the Banner ever check the facts before printing whatever the City tells them? Inflation has been below or close to 0% for most of the year. It hit a low point in July at negative 2.1%. If this rate increase was to keep up with inflation they would be reducing rates not considering rates between 2%-7.5%. Check the rate of deflation at:

This rate increase has everything to do with mismanagement at the City level and nothing to do with inflation.
fed up
November 16, 2009
We don't use anything near 16,000 gallons!!!
Bend Dover
November 14, 2009
I have paid water fees in eleven different water districts in four different states. Scotts Valley is by far the most expensive and the worst quality Water of them all.

I have lived in Scott's Valley for 5 years and have had to replace two water heaters. When contacting general manager McNeesh and his water district foreman, asking if someone could come out to check to see if the problem might be before my meter and therefore the water districts responsibility. I was treated in a arrogant and disrespectful manner which made it clear to me, customer service is not a priority.

If we are being asked to conserve water and are facing a water increase at the same time why did the water district see no problem in developing a 143,000 sq ft retail store plus parking lot at Gateway South?(see Gateway South DSEIR on the city web site) MORE MONEY for the City to borrow for a 19 Million Library THATS WHY.

Many people that get water from Scott's Valley Water District are not even allowed to vote for water district board membership.
Same Old Scam
November 14, 2009
Please use as little water as necessary, it's a valuable resource. One year latter-We need to raise rates because we're not making enough money, (selling enough product).
sv resident
November 13, 2009
of course! why not raise the cost when unemployment is at an all time high and there is virtually no inflation right now, the word deflation has been thrown around by economists more thsan inflation in the past 2 years
November 13, 2009
Every year just like clockwork!

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