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Olivenhain water district vetoes rate increase for customers

ENCINITAS — Following a review of its sewer rates and charges, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, or OMWD, board of directors voted on April 21 to maintain current sewer rates and charges, rather than increase rates as previously scheduled.
The approximately 6,500 homes and businesses receiving sewer service through OMWD were supposed to see an increase of up to 5 percent on their bill on July 1, 2010, but the board deemed the increase unnecessary.
“The board understands that many of our customers continue to be challenged by the current economic climate,” said Jerry Varty, board director of the district. “As they keep a close watch on their bottom line, it is only fair that we continue to do what we can to contain our own costs, rather than unduly burdening our customers by demanding additional revenue.”
Eliminating an increase in 2010 will not affect the amount of future rate increases, as a pre-approved rate increase plan already exists.
The board voted in 2009 on a set rate increase over a three-year period, based upon a study conducted by consultants for OMWD.
Customers are also benefiting from a reduction in OMWD sewer operations and maintenance costs, due to the completion of several facility betterment projects that have resulted in lower power and chemical costs.
Any additional costs encountered by OMWD during the next year will be addressed through minimization of controllable costs, because customer fees will not be making up the difference.