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Rate Increase Tops TUD Agenda

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Sonora, CA – Tuolumne Utilities District will discuss water rates, supply and restrictions at today’s meeting.

As previously reported, staff updated the board at the last meeting of a $1.8 million shortfall in revenue due to mandatory water restrictions because of the drought. A special board meeting was held on May 19, where a majority of the board called for staff to begin the rate hike process, as required by the state’s Prop. 218 Act, to recover drought revenue losses. The board also talked about setting up a public hearing regarding the increase at today’s meeting. The possible rate increase could amount to a $32 a month jump for customers. A review of the 218 requirements found the process could not be piecemeal, instead a final proposal on the revenue recovery information, checked by legal counsel, will be needed before the public hearing can be planned.

The board will also consider a request by Board President Ron Ringen and Director Kent Johnson to reconsider the current 30 percent mandatory water reduction required by customers, while the state is only calling for TUD to adhere to a mandatory 24 percent reduction.  Staff documents recommend the higher requirement stating; the need to minimize the potential for possible $10,000 a day state fines and to keep enough water supply for the remainder of this year and next year.  The major concern from staff in changing the amount is the possible confusion for customers.

Additionally, the board will get an update on water supply, including the recent wet weather that moved through the region. A special closed session will be held at 4 p.m. to review and evaluate applicants for the Interim General Manager position. The regular board meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the TUD building.


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