Attention JT residents and property owners: Vote ‘no’ on rate increase - Hi-Desert Star: Letters To Editor

Attention JT residents and property owners: Vote ‘no’ on rate increase

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Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:27 pm

I will assume all of you received the notice from your Joshua Basin Water District stating they are going to raise the rates over the next five years and why. The district hired a firm, and payed them over $80,000 of our money, to put together facts and figures (documents) in order to deceive (sell) their outlandish plan.

In the Jan. 5 letter from JBWD, it shows a graph, and on it, it shows meter replacement program at 6.1 percent. Their reasoning being the meters have reached their life expectancy. Didn’t we, several years ago, just pay to electrify these meters and today the meters don’t meet someone’s capabilities? God help us if we happen to get a break in our water bill because the unit has built up a little calcium deposit and is slowing down. Something that would help the longevity of those meters, and all of our households, is to do something with the hard water.

Also, on this same graph is “Capital Improvements and Project/Studies 15.2 percent.” Someone needs to put a better control on these studies. Several years ago, JBWD hired an agency to do a salary survey. You mean to tell me that they can’t call their neighboring water districts and exchange job descriptions and salaries? It appears that the rates are too high now. Are we being overcharged? You bet.

Moving on. On the other side of that page, there is a bar graph showing JBWD alongside five other comparable agencies. This $80,000-plus contractor, in order to show a comparison and justification, included three San Bernardino County service areas. This is completely out of line. The San Bernardino County operating costs and overhead expenses are completely out of reason. I called the Planning Department several months ago and was told that their operating cost is $200 an hour! Check out what their permit fees are if you get a chance. We can’t afford to get a permit to build on our lot as planned. The county is running out of ways to raise revenues and is charging more for all its services. You will see those fees go up every year along with salaries and benefits. OK, so let’s delete the County of San Bernardino CSA information from the graph and see where JBWD stands now.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the opinion article in the Hi-Desert Star, located in the Opinion section under the guest soapbox by Edward Vallerand, published Feb. 8, please do so. There is a lot of valuable information being presented.

Per JBWD “Notice of a Public Hearing on Proposed Rate Increases,” written protests should be mailed to Joshua Basin Water District, P.O. Box 675, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. All “no” votes must be submitted prior to the close of the public hearing Feb. 21. Be sure to include the property customer, or the owner of the property, the address or assessor parcel number and be sure to sign it!

JBWD is counting on its customers not being able to pull together a majority “no” vote! Spread the word and vote “no.”

© 2018 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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