Central Basin Pledges to Freeze Water Rates and Calls on Other Water Agencies to do the Same
CBMWD challenges Metropolitan Water District and Water Replenishment District to freeze rates for one year
COMMERCE, Calif., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Central Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors pledged this week to freeze all water rates for at least one year and called on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and the Water Replenishment District (WRD) to do the same.
“We are proud to provide the lowest water rates in the region,” said Central Basin Board President Ed Vasquez. “However, we recognize that more must be done. This is why we are pledging to freeze our rates for one year and we are asking others to join us. It’s time all of us work together to put our communities first.”
During Monday’s Special Board Meeting, the Central Basin staff presented a draft budget that balanced out a few unavoidable increases in overhead and operational expenses with more than $830,000 in cuts across all departments.
“Developing a budget that will allow us to freeze rates certainly hasn’t been easy,” said Central Basin General Manager Art Aguilar. “But even though we had many tough decisions to make, it was critically important for us to make this happen. The historically underserved people of southeast LA have gotten the short end of the water pipe for long enough.”
Specifically, there will be no increase to either Central Basin’s Administrative Surcharge of $70 per acre-foot, or to Central Basin’s Infrastructure Surcharge of $20 per acre-foot. Even at a combined total of $90 per acre-foot, Central Basin’s rates are the lowest among regional water agencies. The District will still be required to pass-through Metropolitan Water District’s rates, which account for 90 percent of the total cost for imported water.
“We implore the Metropolitan Water District to rescind their recently adopted rates and freeze their water rates at current levels,” Art Aguilar said. “The lion’s share of our rates belongs to Metropolitan. It won’t be until they begin making cuts similar to ours that our ratepayers will really start to feel the effects.”
“Given the injustice of WRD’s rate structure, which currently has the working class people of southeast LA subsidizing the wealthy in the South Bay, of course we had to include them in this as well. They need to begin righting these wrongs,” Aguilar continued. “Freezing their rates would be a good first step.”
On Wednesday, April 18, at 9:30 a.m., a Purveyor Budget Workshop will be held at the District offices. Following this meeting, the final budget and rates is expected to be adopted by the CBMWD Board of Directors in May 2012.
For more information about Central Basin’s Rate Freeze Pledge, please visit us at www.centralbasin.org, follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/centralbasin; or on Facebook: Facebook.com/centralbasinmunicipalwater.
Central Basin is a public agency that wholesales imported water to cities, mutual water companies, investor-owned utilities and private companies in southeast Los Angeles County, serving a population of more than 2 million. In addition, Central Basin provides the region with recycled water for municipal, commercial and industrial uses. Formed in 1952, Central Basin is committed to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for the region. For more information please visit www.centralbasin.org.
Contact: Valerie Howard
SOURCE Central Basin Municipal Water District