Ranch water district approves rate increase

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Nov. 18 water rate increase approved by the board of the Santa Fe Irrigation District was expected, said General Manager Michael Bardin.
“At our October meeting we held a public hearing just on that subject,” he said. “There were about 50 people and 13 public comments,” he said.
After that meeting, the board members took into consideration the public comments, studied the staff reports and voted in favor 3-2 to raise the rates.
Voting for the raise were board President Michael Hogan, Vice President Ken Dunford and Director Bud Irvin. Voting against the raise were directors John Ingalls and Auggie Daddi.
The “pass through,” component of the issue was not passed.
“They did not take action on that,” Bardin said.
The board believes the raise is necessary because the cost of water continues to rise.
“About 70 percent of our budget in the next three years is just to buy water,” he said.
The increase will be 12 percent in January and 12 percent for the next two years.
The proposal to “pass through,” additional costs the water authority imposes was not OK’d.
“The rate proposal approved by the board represents responsible public policy,” he said. “It is the financial plan that is necessary to provide safe reliable water and fire flow and implement the maintenance and replacing of infrastructure. “It is a well-run and maintained water system and we want to keep it that way. We don’t want to do crisis management of a public water system.”

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