Frequently Asked Questions about Prop 218

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How can I dispute/protest?
Please mail or hand-deliver written protests to:
Clerk to the Board, El Dorado Irrigation District
2890 Mosquito Road, Placerville, CA 95667

Protests must identify, by street address or Assessor’s Parcel Number, the parcel(s) in which the party signing the protest has an interest. Emailed, faxed, or electronic protests will not be accepted. Protests must be received by EID by 9:00 a.m. on January 11, 2016.

Can I dispute the proposed rate increases verbally?
No. Under Proposition 218, EID must receive a written protest with a signature.

Do I need to send a separate letter to protest each service?
No. You can identify each service for which you are protesting the proposed rate increases in one letter.

I am a tenant; can I submit a dispute/protest?
If the party signing the protest is not shown on the last equalized assessment roll of El Dorado County as the owner of the parcel(s), the protest must contain or be accompanied by written evidence that such party is the owner of the parcel(s), unless the protest is by a tenant who pays the utility bills. Tenants who pay the utility bills can submit a written protest. If both the owner and tenant submit a protest letter, only one written protest per parcel will be counted.

Why is EID raising the rates?
EID is committed to providing safe, reliable, and high-quality water, wastewater, and recycled water services for our customers. As our water, sewer, and recycled water systems age, it is important to continue investing in replacing, rebuilding, and expanding them in accordance with a long-term, balanced financing plan. Based on the most recent board-approved financial plan, it has been determined that rate increases are necessary for EID’s water, wastewater, and recycled water service fees to enable the District to recover current and projected costs of operations and maintenance; fund capital infrastructure improvements vital for providing safe and reliable drinking water; maintain the operational and financial stability of the utilities; and avoid operational deficits and depletion of reserves. The proposed rates are designed to bring in the revenue needed to cover operating expenses and meet debt service obligations for vital capital projects.

What projects are going to be done with this money?
There are many projects that are reliant on this proposed increase. For a detailed list, please visit our website to review the financial plan and five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

What rate increases are being proposed?


2016   
2017  
2018   
2019   
2020
 Water  5%
 5%  4%  3%  3%
 Wastewater  0%  5%  4%  3%  3%
 Recycled Water
 5%  5%  4%  3%  3%

Why are rates set so far into the future?
A multi-year rate structure precludes the need to revisit the Proposition 218 process more frequently, reduces administrative costs, and allows our customers to plan for future costs more accurately.

Can EID ever charge more than the approved rates?
No. That would require starting a whole new Proposition 218 process.

How much can I expect my bill to increase?

  • For the average water customer, it means an increase of $2.50 per month in 2016 and additional increases of $2.62 in 2017, $2.21 in 2018, $1.72 in 2019 and $1.78 in 2020.
  • For the average dual-plumbed customer, it’s an increase of $2.23 per month in 2016 and additional increases of $2.35 in 2017, $1.97 in 2018, $1.54 in 2019, and $1.59 in 2020.
  • For the average wastewater (sewer) customer, it means a monthly increase of $3.35 in 2017, and additional increases of $2.82 in 2018, $2.20 in 2019, and $2.26 in 2020. There is no sewer rate increase for 2016.

What accommodations are being made for people on fixed incomes who just can't afford a rate increase?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to offer discounted rates to fixed income residents without making up the discount from some other source, and state law (Proposition 218) prohibits any property owner from being charged more than their proportional cost of service. In other words, EID can’t subsidize some of its customers by overcharging other customers.

I heard about rate increase, but didn’t receive paperwork. How can I get a copy?
You can download the Proposition 218 here.

How many protests will it take to stop an increase?
Proposition 218 requires a simple majority of 50 percent of the affected parcels, plus one. EID will count protests to water rates, wastewater rates, and recycled water rates separately, to see if any have a majority protest.

What is the consequence if the proposed rate increases are voted down?
The rate increase is needed to maintain the current level of service for all EID utility customers and pay for the costs of operating and maintaining complex water treatment and distribution systems, as well as collection and treatment systems for wastewater. Without these rate increases, the public could see reduced levels of service.

When will the proposed rate increases take effect?
On January 11, 2016, the EID Board of Directors will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed rates described in this notice. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the El Dorado Irrigation District headquarters located at 2890 Mosquito Road, Placerville. If adopted, the first increase would take effect February 1, 2016. All subsequent increases would be effective on and after January 1 of each year from 2017 through 2020.

How long will these rates be in effect?
The rates will remain in effect indefinitely or until the EID Board of Directors decides to change them.

Why are you recommending that Small Farm and Agricultural customers with Residence pay residential rates for more of their water usage?
EID has reviewed water usage since the rates and rate structure were put in place in 2012 and is now recommending a rate change for small farms and agricultural users with a residence. EID staff is proposing and the Board directed that small farms and agricultural users with a residence be charged residential usage rates for both Tiers 1 and 2, as originally proposed by the District’s cost-of-services (COS) committee. Currently, 76 percent of single-family residential customers are billed for usage up to Tier 3. District staff believes it would be appropriate to implement the Tier 2 residential rates for the small farm and agricultural users with residences because residential usage for small farms and agriculture with a residence is similar to single-family usage. Usage above Tier 2 for small farms and agricultural users with a residence would stay at the agricultural rates, following the COS principles.