The Town has been spending thousands of dollars with its H2Ours campaign attempting to takeover a private utility in Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company.
One often repeated misnomer they don’t attempt to clear up is that they will have lower rates … BUT:
The Town of Apple Valley CANNOT & WILL NOT Lower Your Water Rates …
… But they will spend millions pretending they can.
The first place to look is on their website, where they say:
“Are you going to lower rates?”
“We cannot promise to reduce rates after acquisition, but we will do our utmost to stabilize them.”
— AVH2ours.com, FAQ
Not very straightforward, but when you get into the Town’s finance’s numbers, the very plan to finance the acquisition actually relies upon RATE INCREASES.
As seen in the Town’s presentation below on slide 60 (page 30):
You can also see where the Town relies upon RATE INCREASES in this snippet from the Public Participation Hearings in March between Town Councilman Scott Nassif and a resident:
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: This is for the Town of Apple Valley. You say you haven’t really thought about how you’re going to pay to purchase it. But on your website, kind of buried, I found feasibility study. And actually says it’s going to add $3.5 million a year over 40 years plus raise the rates 12 and a half percent right off the bat. That’s just to purchase Ranchos at 134 million, which isn’t quite near what Liberty is going to pay.
So how we on that end Ranchos service area — so I have to carry that burden on my property taxes.
MR. NASSIF: I think I understand what you’re saying. On the feasibility study, it’s assuming that there’s not a rate case granted. And keep in mind they’ve applied for 35 percent rate increase over the next three years. That’s somewhat less than 20, but in any case it will be more than 13.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: It had 12 and a half.
MR. NASSIF: For the first year, I think. We’re talking in the study, it showed about 13 percent. So I think what the feasibility study — and there’s my staff here could probably support us on this — what the feasibility study says assuming that the rate case is going to be granted, somewhere between 15 and 30 percent. There will be no rate increases beyond that.
So the current rate case that’s being contemplated at the PUC, there wouldn’t be an increase over that.
Yet, the Town’s marketing campaign, including statements from Council members and staff, have consistently railed against rate increases and implied that this is the impetus for this effort. In the cases above, the Town actually relies on RATE INCREASES in its acquisition plans.
If the Town decides to pursue acquisition, they will have to pursue eminent domain against the company, which in California, would cost millions of dollars in legal fees alone that the taxpayers would have to pay.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THE TOWN COUNCIL!
Call the Apple Valley Town Clerk and let them know that you oppose the town using eminent domain to take over a private utility.
Call: (760) 240-7000 ext. 7800
or Email Mayor Pro Tem Barb Stanton at