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Press Release: Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Water Rate Increases

Los Osos Community Services District
Contact: Renee Osborne, General Manager 805-528-9379
Release Date: May 3, 2017

The Los Osos Community Services District (LOCSD) is a public agency that provides a range of services to the community of Los Osos including water, drainage, street lighting, parks/recreation, fire and emergency response. LOCSD’s water utility relies primarily on revenues from water rates to fund the costs of operating and maintaining a reliable water system.  LOCSD depends on groundwater for 100% of the community’s water supply.  

The regional groundwater basin has been adversely impacted by both a) groundwater degradation from septic system discharge, and b) seawater intrusion into the lower aquifers due to years of overdraft.  A Prop 218 Notice was sent to all billing customers on April 28, 2017 to inform them that LOCSD is proposing to phase in a proposed rate increases over four years to help minimize the annual impact on customers.  

Why the Rate Increase?

LOCSD is facing a number of challenges related to the over-drafted groundwater basin and aging facilities.  Rate increases are needed to help address these long-term challenges, to help keep up with operating cost inflation and help support a safe, reliable, and sustainable water service.  
The Rate increase is also needed to fund minimal annual operating increases.  The 2017/2018 cost has been increased by $168,880. Also, the Finance and Utility Committees have recently considered the uses of Property Tax revenue unfair to the District wide community. It has been presented that the Property Tax monies should be applied to costs associated with District wide services such as Fire and/or Drainage.  Moving these funds from Water will adversely affect the funds that the District currently uses to fund the Water Department. 

The Allocation of administrative costs has also impacted the Water Department. Currently the distribution of administrative costs is; Water 62%, Fire 21%, Drainage 8%, Vista 1.5%, Bayridge 2%, Parks 1 %, and Wastewater 4.5%.  The 2017/2018 proposed administrative allocation change is; Water 80%, Fire 10%, Drainage 6%, Vista 1%, Bayridge 1.5%, Parks 1.5%. The total change in funds due to administrative allocation, property tax and recycled water is $250,000.  The proposed rate increase would supplement these fund and allocation changes as well. 

What is the actual increase?

LOCSD is proposing to phase in a series of base water rate increases over the next four years.
As an example for 2017-2018:
    •    A fixed bi-monthly Service Charge increase for 2017 of $5.68, Plus;
    •    Tier 1 increase of $2.65 per ccf
    •    Tier 2 increase of $2.35 per ccf
    •    Tier 3 increase of $1.75 per ccf
    •    Tier 4 increase of $1.05 per ccf

How do we compare to other Water Utilities?

With the proposed rate increases, LOCSD’s water rates are expected to remain in the middle range compared to other local and regional water agencies. 

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The Los Osos CSD Board encourages you to come to the Board or Committee Meetings or email Staff and/or the Board with any of your questions. You input is valuable and necessary help keep the Los Osos CSD operations efficient and reliable.   

PUBLIC HEARING  

LOCSD will hold a public hearing on the proposed base water rate increases on 
June 15, 2017 starting at 7:00 pm.  
The meeting will be held at the District Office located at 
2122 9th Street, Suite 106, Los Osos, California, 93402

PUBLIC HEARING  

LOCSD will hold a public hearing on the proposed base water rate increases on 

June 15, 2017 starting at 7:00 pm.  
The meeting will be held at the District Office located at 
2122 9th Street, Suite 106, Los Osos, California, 93402

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the LOCSD Office at 528-9370. Or you can contact the Staff or Board via email through the Los Osos CSD website at: Losososcsd.org. or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/losososcsd/.