No longer saddled with a 36% conservation mandate from the State Water Resources Control Board, the YLWD Board of Directors voted unanimously to reduce the Basic Service Charge for all customers.
Customers with one inch meters will see their meter fee reduced $9.08 to $32.49; customers with 3/4 inch meters will be billed at $19.45, a reduction of $6.84.
The new lower rates come with the anticipated increase in annual water sales after the Board loosened watering restrictions and suspended Administrative Penalties last month. The monthly basic service rates were calculated with forecasted increases in water sales to remain revenue neutral.
“The conservation edicts from the Governor were dramatic and unprecedented,” said Board President Ric Collett. “It forced us to have to do something dramatic to keep from defaulting on our bonds and potentially go out of business. As the State has changed the rules, we’ve done everything we can to protect the public’s water and be fiscally responsible. That also means not collecting more than we have to.”
The reduction comes in spite of the fact that costs for both groundwater and import water have increased.
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5/8" & 3/4"
Director Michael J. Beverage wishes to announce his retirement from the Board of Directors of the Yorba Linda Water District. After 24 years of distinguished public service, Director Beverage will not seek a 7th term this November, in order to pursue a new opportunity and enjoy semi-retirement. He plans to serve out his current term which expires in December of 2016.
Director Beverage expresses his sincere gratitude to the community, staff, and Board Members (past and present) for working together to provide the community with independent, trusted and reliable water and wastewater service.
In response to the State lifting mandated conservation percentages, the YLWD Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter Stage 1 of the District’s Conservation Ordinance. The move to Stage 1 allows customers to water three days a week. Filling of swimming pools is no longer prohibited.
With the State turning back control to the local water providers, the District quickly moved to let customers use more water, just in time for the warm summer months. The three day watering schedule supports the Governor's Executive OrderB-37-16 "Making Water Conservation a Way of Life" and runs parallel with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's Condition 2 – Water Supply Alert.
YLWD Customers responded heroically to the calls for conservation during the past year exceeding the 36% mandated reduction from the State. While the drought is not over, conditions have improved in parts of the State and Metropolitan has a more than three year supply in storage.
Effective immediately, odd numbered addresses may irrigate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and even numbered addresses can irrigate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Permanent watering restrictions, including no washing down of hard or paved surfaces and no automated watering between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm remain in place.
The Yorba Linda Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously to suspend administrative penalties on customer billings beginning in June. The decision comes after the State Water Resources Control Board granted the District an 8% credit toward its 36% conservation mandate. To date, YLWD customers have exceeded the 36% target.
The Board adopted a new ordinance giving them the ability to reinstate penalties to varying degrees if the District falls out of compliance with the State regulations.
“We never wanted to do this in the first place,” said Director Gary Melton. “Our customers have done an amazing job conserving and we’re in good standing with the State Board, so I don’t see any reason to continue to penalize our ratepayers.”
Board President, Ric Collett warned though, that lifting the penalties isn’t a green light to go back to old watering habits.
“We need to continue to conserve,” Collett said. “Our customers are smart. They know the drought is not over. They’ve done the right thing and will continue to do so. As long as we continue to meet our conservation mandate, we won’t need the penalties.”
Since the beginning of the original Emergency Drought Regulation, Yorba Linda Water District customers have exceeded the state’s 36% conservation mandate from June 2015 through February 2016. The Drought Emergency Declaration has since been extended through October 31st, but the District successfully lobbied the State Board for a reduced conservation standard. Credits were granted for investments made in sustainable supply for the Ground Water Replenishment System and for population growth. The District’s new conservation mandate is 28%.
The YLWD Board voted unanimously to pursue the option of refunding the District’s 2008 Certificates of Participation (COP's). Due to current municipal bond market conditions, there is an opportunity for the District to refinance the remainder of the life of the debt associated with the 2008 COP. The amount of savings is dependent on the interest rates in effect at the time of refunding.
“This is an opportunity for us to take advantage of the current market and potentially save approximately $7 Million over the next 23 years based on the estimates presented,” said Board President Ric Collett. “We’re fortunate that we have the bond ratings to allow us the ability to take advantage of these potential cash savings for our customers.”
After consideration and approval to pursue the refunding option, the next step is to engage bond counsel and assemble the financing team. The entire process of this refunding opportunity will be completed by April 20, 2016.