Tuesday, May 15, 2007

PUC Says 24 Percent Water Hike Enough

Golden State had requested 44 percent,
but critics still believe increase excessive

By Daryl Kelley
The state office charged with protecting the public’s interest in utility cases has recommended a 24 percent increase in Ojai’s water rate over the next three years — a sharp reduction from the amount requested by a private water company, but a hike critics still describe as excessive.
Golden State Water Company, which provides water for nearly 2,900 customers in the city of Ojai and vicinity, has asked the state Public Utilities Commission for an increase of about 44 percent by 2010, although its rates are already much higher than other local water agencies.
In a lengthy analysis released late Monday, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates of the PUC found that Golden State’s requested increase was nearly double what should be approved.
The water company has overstated its anticipated operations, maintenance and administrative costs and its immediate need to improve pipelines and wells is less than the company maintains, the report said.
But the Ratepayer Advocates office said a hike averaging 8 percent a year on Golden State’s base rate in Ojai is justified. That compares with the company’s increase of 3.99 percent in 2005 and 4.12 percent in 2006. If its new request were granted, Golden State would have received rate increases of 116 percent over the last two decades.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know where to begin. GSWC got what they wanted, maybe a little more than they expected, receiving over half their shill request, by an agency devoid of any sense of advocacy for the very people they claim to represent. I personally would like to dunk the heads of each one of those on the board until they admit that our water sucks. Well, it's fun thinking about it anyway.

Of course they provide the proof(?) that they have complied with so called standards, that the board relies on.. Can a city set up their own surprise inspections of facilities, pipes, or any other facet to the water works of Ojai, and see for ourselves? Of course Federal standards are a joke to rely on. Can the City of Ojai impose a higher standard for our water? Since it is a private enterprise, can the City impose a substantial income tax on their earnings to offset the eventual rate increase. A substantial income tax could turn this exploitive relationship on it's head. I don't know the legal aspect of any of the question I pose, but their must be something that can be done, between now and the time that Ojai takes over Ojai's Water Works.

They have some meetings still, to get final approval, but the writing seems to be all over the water tank.

I'm looking towards F.L.O.W. for direction on this, and bottle of Sparkletts to cool down.

Dana Wilson