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CCWD Approves Lower-than-Proposed Water Rate Hikes

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San Andreas, CA — The tension was palpable at a special meeting held Wednesday night by the Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) Board to vote on the contentious rate increases.

It was a packed house with more than 150 district customers, some having to be seated outside the chambers, with around 40 stepping up to the mic to voice concerns regarding the water and sewer rate plan. One disabled Copperopolis woman who spoke had to fight back tears, stating, “The story of widows, single moms or dads with children, and asking, ‘How am I going to feed my children?’ Those with disabilities say, ‘Where do I go if I have to move?’ (Her voice cracks.) Sorry, and those seniors living on social security are just barely scraping by because of a rate hike that will cripple these families’ lives.”

Packed CCWD special meeting on water rate hike with some in attendance having to be seated outside
Courtesy photo

The original five-year rate hike proposal would have increased the bi-monthly water base rate for the 5/8-meter size from $120.35 currently to $248.42 in 2027, as earlier reported here. The proposal that passed dropped that number to $197.13 by 2027. It passed 3 to 2, with board members Scott Ratterman, Jeff Davidson, and Russ Thomas in favor and Bertha Underhill and Cindy Secada opposed. Ratterman, board president, supported his vote, saying the amounts can be changed, stating, “Each year we vote again to implement the rates, and at that time we can implement the full rate that was approved or a rate smaller than that. We just can’t go above that.”

Social media page on recall of CCWD board members (L to R) Thomas., Davidson, Ratterman (Board President)
Social media page on recall of CCWD board members (L to R) Thomas., Davidson, Ratterman (Board President)

After the vote, many in the crowd shouted to recall the members who voted in favor. And, already a group has started a social media page called “Coalition to Recall CCWD’s Ratterman, Davidson, and Thomas 2023. Ratterman was shocked to learn that from Clarke Broadcasting and had this reaction.

“We did our job keeping the district solvent and the water flowing. It was a necessary part of the process,” argued Ratterman, adding, “I think there were some awfully angry people in the room that evening, and I hope the efforts to recall don’t take place.”

The new rate increases will take effect on October 16.

  • CCWD special meeting on water rate hike
  • CCWD special meeting on water rate hike
  • CCWD special meeting on water rate hike
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