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Public Forum:
San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board Proposes Rate Increase in Response to Fire and Storm Recovery Costs

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District (the District) today announced the Board of Directors voted on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, to move forward with Proposition 218 process for a proposed rate increase to address impacts from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, COVID, the destructive storms of winter 2022/2023 and increased costs to provide service for customers.

The proposed rate increase is the result of a rate study process that began in March 2023 and included five public meetings. If approved, new rates would go into effect in March 2024. The District plans to hold two more public meetings focused on the proposed rate increase:

Community Meeting

Saturday, January 20, 2024

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Highlands Park Senior Center, 8500 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond, CA 95005

Public Hearing

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024

6:30 p.m.

San Lorenzo Valley Water District Conference Room, 12788 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek, CA 95006

A Proposition 218 notice will be sent to customers in late December. Per Proposition 218, property owners and customers may file written protests about the proposed rate increase. All written protests must be received by the District prior to the close of the Public Hearing on February 15, 2024.

Additional Background

The District depends on income from ratepayers for 85% of its total revenue. This revenue funds both ongoing operating costs and major infrastructure improvements (essential maintenance, critical upgrades, and storm/fire repairs and replacements). Expenses over the past decade have been increasing faster than inflation due to rising cost of operations and maintenance and state-mandated expenses beyond the District’s control.

The District is proposing a rate increase spread over a 5-year period for water service. The specific water rate increase for each customer would depend on their meter size, the amount of water used — including seasonal variations in water use — and their user category (e.g.,

residential vs. industrial). Typical residential water customers would see their monthly bill increase by a few dollars in 2024, with a similar increase in each succeeding year through year 5. Residential water customers who use exceptionally large quantities of water would experience larger increases.

For more information about the proposed rate increase, including frequently asked questions, financial plans, presentations and detailed instructions for submitting a letter of protest, visit: www.slvwd.com/prop218.

ABOUT THE SAN LORENZO VALLEY WATER DISTRICT

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District is located in the mountains of northern Santa Cruz County. The District serves more than 7,500 metered connections. Established in 1941, the District supplies water to the communities of Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Ben Lomond, Zayante, Quail Hollow, Scotts Valley, Whispering Pines, Manana Woods, and Felton. For more information, visit www.slvwd.com or follow the District on Facebook, Instagram, X and Nextdoor.

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