OPINION PIECE BY DONNA WESTFALL
DO YOU WANT TO PAY FOR DEVELOPER EXPANSION?
CALIFORNIA LAW SAYS YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
The City of Crescent City is pursuing another rate hike. Proposition 218 is California law that gives us, the ratepayers, the right to protest yet another rate hike in water and sewer rates. Proposition 218 spells out that rate payers are obligated to pay for operations and maintenance, not for developer expansion! Developers are legally obligated to pay for expansion, NOT the ratepayers. You, as a rate paying customer, have the legal right to say, “NO, I WON’T PAY FOR DEVELOPER EXPANSION.” Join your neighbors, citizens, and business owners to stop yet another rate hike.
When the city signed for the $44 million loan, they put the ratepayers on the hook for the entire amount…. That’s right, 100%. Guess how much of our $44 million sewer plant was expansion? The City says 11.8%. WRONG! THEY LIED. Let’s just look at the lab which used to be 800 square feet. 12% EXPANSION MEANS THE NEW LAB WOULD ONLY BE 896 SQUARE FEET! The new lab is 2400 square feet. That’s not just double, that’s triple the size.
The cost to build the new lab? $2 ½ million dollars. We were told in 2007 that the lab would pay for itself in 2 ½ years. Guess what? The lab hasn’t made a dime yet.
Let’s look at the Membrane BioReactor (MBR). That’s all new. We never had one before. Guess how much it cost? OVER $30,000,000….. that’s right $30 million bucks. That all goes to the issue of expansion. So $32 million is all expansion with bigger buildings, bigger pipes and more machinery. The ratepayers should only be on the hook for $12 million. Then why are we ratepayers subjected to ever increasing rates? To pay for expansion!
Remember, ratepayers are NOT supposed to pay for expansion. Do you want them to charge you for expansion? EXERCISE YOUR LEGAL RIGHT TO SAY “NO!”.
IF YOU OWN PROPERTY OR PAY FOR SEWER, THEN SIGN YOUR PROTEST NOW!