February 16, 2011
Trout Gulch Mutual Water (TGW) Members
Re: Water Rate Member Meetings
As many of you will recall, TGW hired consultant Brent Haddad to assist us in the development of a fair and equitable water rate structure to include the cost of implementing our two State and County requirements (1) to install meters for all members by July 2013 and (2) to bring our manganese level down to acceptable levels. In order to complete his study and make recommendations to the TGW Board, Dr. Haddad met with the Board, led two member meetings on rate reform and budget priorities, and communicated via email and phone with members. In his final report to the TGW Board, Dr. Haddad recommended two rate options that include the cost of meter installation and manganese treatment. The bi-monthly member costs in Option 1 are $315.51 for non-metered customers and $253.86 plus a two-tiered rate charge for water used by the metered customers. Option 1 builds the payment for installing meters and manganese treatment into a three year budget. Option 2, in contrast, pays for the meter installation and manganese treatment by taking out a 20 year loan. The bi-monthly charges in Option 2 are $210.35 for non-metered customers and $148.70 plus the same two tiered charge for water used by metered customers. While Option 2 has lower bi-monthly costs, it also has significantly greater overall costs because of the interest paid over the 20 year loan term. Both options assume that as meters are installed customers will move from the flat rate fee to the metered water rate.
To more fully discuss the requirements, options and gather member input, the TGW Board plans to hold two evening Member Meetings in the upstairs conference room at the Aptos La Selva Fire Station on Monday, March 21, 2011 from 6-7:30 PM and Thursday, March 31, 2011 from 6-7:30PM. The address is 6934 Soquel Drive in Aptos. After the Member Meetings, the Board will discuss and vote on the rate increases during the April 14, 2011 Board meeting from 6-8PM in the downstairs conference room at the Aptos La Selva Fire Station. It is anticipated the rate increase will take effect July 1, 2011.
The TGW Board invites and encourages you to come to either meeting and we look forward to your participation and input. Members may also mail written input to the TGW Board by March 21, 2011 at 90Victoria Lane, Aptos, CA 95003 for consideration in the rate setting discussion. After all, it takes a village or at least a community of members to run a mutual non-profit water company.
Thanks, and we look forward to seeing or hearing from you in March.
Norm Wyman, TGW President