WATER DISTRICT ADDRESSES MOBILE HOMES/CONDOS, SGMA, SOLAR
Last updated 11/27/2016 at 10:12am
One issue which has been discussed over the last couple of months, adjusted water rates for mobile home parks and condominiums, was back on the Board agenda in November. Currently these facilities are billed at a uniform rate in between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 residential rates. Under consideration is a proposal to charge them the same as single family, stick-built or modular homes.
General Manager Geoff Poole surveyed the policies of ten neighboring water districts, most of which bill at a uniform rate as BWD does. He also investigated the financial analysis, publication and hearing requirements under Proposition 218 prior to implementing a rate change, estimated to cost $20,000 for the financial analysis alone. The Board decided to incorporate the suggested change, with a lower ceiling for Tier 1 due to the smaller average size and limited landscaping in these units, in the next Prop 218 process along with any other proposed changes to water and sewer rates.
Formation of a Citizens Advisory Committee to assist in the formation of a Groundwater Management Plan as required under the statewide Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is in its final stages. The Committee will be composed of representatives from the Borrego Water Coalition, Borrego Springs Sponsor Group, Borrego Valley Stewardship Council, Farm Bureau, Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the BWD ratepayers. The BWD Board is responsible for selecting the ratepayer representative from among three applicants. After review and interviews by an ad hoc committee, a recommendation will be made to the Board at its December meeting.
Plans are underway to install Solar power for the BWD offices, warehouse and parking lot. Based on estimates by BWD Engineer David Dale and the success of the Solar facilities at the treatment plant, the Board agreed to pursue this cost saving measure and will consider an RFP at its next meeting.
In a related matter, the Board was happy to learn that BWD has been approved for a $65,000 rebate over the next five years to defray the cost of the treatment plant Solar power. As so many of us in the Borrego Valley have recently opted for Solar energy in our homes, it’s nice to see the businesses and public agencies jumping on the bandwagon. A win/win situation for all! Stay tuned for further updates following the next BWD Board meeting, December 14, 2016.