Hello fellow Feltonian’s, I hope you are awake and took note of the article “SLV district to seek substantial rate increase to complete projects” (May 10, page 5). Remember, we paid via Measure W, $11 million for our water a few years back, because the big bad nasty American Water Co. was going to raise our rates, and therefore, we decided to buy the water from them to keep control and our rates low. Do you remember that? You should look at your recent property tax statement as a reminder and note the amount you are paying for our water.
And now SLV Water seems to be seeking a significant rate increase that will be spread over five years to fund several major projects and cover regular increases in operating costs. That sounds like what we tried to get away from by buying our water.
I get the regular operating costs, but to take on several major projects all at once seems a little irresponsible. And what are these major projects?
Well to build a new centralized “campus” for the districts administration and workforce. Really? This takes on the flavor of typical city, county or school administration practice to plush up their digs at the taxpayer expense, and ignore the projects or activities that really matter. The other major project, they want to share our water with everyone in the county. Not only that, we get to pay to allow everyone else to have access to our water. Such a deal.
They dress up this “sharing” of our water as an “intertie project” for emergency purposes. Give me a break. It sounds like a “do it for the children” tactic to make us believe we are doing something to save the world. Let’s face it, you want to tap into our water so at any time water could be diverted.
Do you recall that Felton FLOW, SLVWD, and Santa Cruz County officials Jeff Almquist and Mark Stone all assured us that rates would increase only 2.5 percent each year if we agreed to the buy out? It looks like that was short lived, because this rate increase will be averaged at 10.6 percent per year.
The only district board member with any guts appears to be Randall Brown, but his concern was only the new campus. Otherwise, they are all lock-step with this irresponsible project.
So, Feltonian’s, keep a watch on your mailbox because the district will be mailing an explanation of the rate increase and how residents may protest it. Make sure you send your vote of opposition towards this increase. We need 51 percent of the 7,100 customers, of which Felton is the majority. I am counting on you.
Mark Stovall, Felton