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Valley of the Moon water rate hike hearing

 

A delayed rate hike for Valley of the Moon Water District (VOMWD) customers will have a public, virtual hearing on Feb. 2. Fire services would see about an eight percent increase in rates, while home and business customers would see 19 to 20 percent increases across the board. The increased rates are designed to cover the costs of providing the service as well as the cost of purchasing water from the county. Nearly 80 percent of the district’s water is bought from by the Sonoma County Water Agency and delivered from the Russian River via aqueduct.

“The District would usually increase rates in July, at the beginning of the new fiscal year, but the Board put it off this year to help alleviate financial pressures on its ratepayers due to COVID-19,” Interim Managing Director Matt Fullner said.

Continued on page 16 An announcement of the hearing and new rates was sent to customers in December. It noted that the increases were recommended by a 2017 study done by NBS Government Finance Group, an independent, third-party consultant, “to evenly spread the applicable costs among water users according to the cost of providing service to those users.” Almost all VOMWD customers are residential; only four percent are in the commercial class.

The VOMWD was formed in 1962 and added most homes and businesses in Glen Ellen by 1963. Customers have enjoyed some of the lowest rates in Sonoma County. The district can’t continue to cover the costs of providing service and acquiring enough water to provide for drinking and emergency uses to its 23,750 customers, according to the NBS study.

The VOMWD has increased rates annually in accordance with NBS’ recommendations, with the last increase going into effect last August.

In case you missed the flyer, the meeting will be held online starting at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 2.

According to Fullner, “The easiest way to log into the meeting would be to view the agenda on our website once it’s posted, and click the Zoom link at the top.” That website is www.vomwd.org.

Fullner said that a link to the 2017 study is located under: “Your Water > Water Supply Planning > Rates and Rate Study.” Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a PDF of the study itself.

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