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Up Go Dixon's Water Rates. Share Your Thoughts.

Rates will rise 67 percent in the first year for clients served by the Dixon-Solano Water Authority, and 10 percent in the second year.

Not enough protest votes were received to stop a water rate hike for clients served by the Dixon-Solano Water Authority. 

As a result, water rates will rise 67 percent in the first year of the increase and 10 percent in the second year.

The City needed to receive 1,348 protest votes to stop the hike, but only received 126 valid votes, according to the Vacaville Reporter:

"[The Dixon-Solano Water Authority] is operating at a structural deficit of $70,000 per year, officials have said. Revenues will pay down the organization's bills and begin building a reserve. At present, there is no money for repairs, maintenance or anything else."

Share your thoughts about the rate increase and the protest process below. 

Michael barnhart November 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I would like to vote No. I hate the water rates as it is. 80 dollar water bill a month is rediculas. I dont or cant afford to water my grass and I live on a corner lot. So whats going to end up happening is poor neighbor hood upkeep..I would love to display a beautiful green lawn for all to see, but just cant afford too..
Gary Rannefeld November 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM
The RATES rose by more than 67 percent and 10 percent. Without adequately explaining it in the public notice (same as what the consultants presented to the DSWA and the board members complained about), the 67/10 percent figures are only estimated REVENUE increases IF you assume that a water customer will also cut back their water usage by some vaguely described but significant amount. If you don't cut back, your water bill will rise more than the stated percentages. The great majority of residences have 3/4" meters. (Virtually no one has a 5/8" meter in DSWA.) If your most recent bill shows 48 CCF of water delivered, your bill will rise about 83 percent with the first increase and end up about 102 percent more after the second increase IF you use the same amount of water. Does that sound like a 67/10 percent increase? Ratepayers are in for a rude surprise if they bother to compare past bills to future ones.
Jack November 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
This was not something out of the blue. You had chances to voice your opinion and/or object. Complaining now is a bit too late.
Dane Besneatte November 17, 2012 at 08:19 PM
This issue has been up front, open, contested, explained time and again, debated (hotly) multiple times and voted on more times than I care to remember so no person in Dixon should be surprised or have this come as a shock. I voted against the water raise increse for reasons I have stated repeatedly but the rate increased was passed by majority vote and that i what it is. The voters and DSWA customers & property owners were given many opportunities to comment, object, debate and ultimately protest. When we passed a 9% RATE not REVENUE increase a couple years ago we received over 1300 protests. With the 79% RATE (67% REVENUE) and followed by a 13% rate (10% REVENUE) increases (ON TOP OF THE 9%) will mean well over 100% in RATE increase. This was part of my objection. Notwithstanding, why only 126 legitimate protests? Nobody can blame the city council, city staff, DSWA Board or even SID for this, it is on the customers who did not take action as simple as sending in a post card. No more from the governing bodies could have been expected and every notice requirement was exceeded. I have Cal Water in csae anyone wonders and I still opposed these increases. Those impacted had every opportunity to be heard and as Jack says, 'the time to complain is long passed'. We will be vigilant and continue to pursue the most prudent cost effective operation of this water distrrict and are mindful of the impact of these increases have on customers as we move forward.
Kerry Jacobs November 17, 2012 at 10:46 PM
The uninformed voters voted for a tax hike on prop 30 so why not raise the rates. I say raise property taxes, sales taxes, Taxes for the children and police, Taxes to save the Unions, Taxes to save Hostes Twinkies there to big to fail arnt they. Please raise our taxes..
Debby Gabriel November 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM
This is riduculous we all already pay enough in utility cost as it is (water, sewer, garbage and pg&e). I for one can't afford, so what do we do stop eating to pay utility bills?
JD Kluge November 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
The cold simple fact is that the DSWA is flat broke. Every service must operate with revenues accounting for expenses plus be able to make repairs and replacements to depreciating assets. The DSWA, no matter how the pie was cut, no matter what was cut out, no matter what was ignored, could not match revenues with expenses without raising rates. Over the 3 years the Board heard from many citizens who said we had to cut expenses. This was done as much as it could without sacrificing the public's safety. Also, the last 10 years of books were reconciled by both the City and SID to trying to find some mysterious missing money. Both accountings found the same results as the auditors; no missing money.
JD Kluge November 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Not one person on the Board liked raising rates. Some on the Board ignored the fiscal facts and voted not to raise rates anyway. However as an elected official, like it or not you have make a decision to do what is needed even if it is unpopular. Letting DSWA fail was not an option for the City of Dixon. This isn't by any means the end of the discussion. DSWA faces future hurdles with the City taking over the entire system. People will have to be hired and trained, all the maintenance will have to taken on by the City. It will be a whole new public works system to manage. The City will then be faced with providing water to all growth needs in the new industrial areas (and movie studios if that happens). The Board will look to their constitutes to provide guidance. It is important for the people to be part of that input now and not after the decisions are made.
Dan Mattingly November 21, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Please add Cal Water for a city takeover. A large portion of their service charges go to paying their stockholders. You just cannot cut back on water, since the hookup rate just to have a pipe to the sidewalk is 1/2 the bill. I could just turn off the water, but then a large bill will still show up. The Sacramento Bee had an article where residents in a small town near Clear Lake could not sell their homes or afford to pay their water bill. Guess what: the water system is owned by Cal Water. The adjacent town did not have Cal Water and their water bills were lower than at least 50% and the residents could sell their homes. I don't buy the argument that you have to protest a rate increase. Most people can't get off work to go to the meetings. A mail ballot by the ratepayers is much more appropriate, just like Measure N or Dixon Downs, let us vote instead of being just another protestor who will never be heard.
Dane Besneatte November 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM
The protest was a 'by mail' process. There has to be something said about the pitiful number of protests received. This is not new or a surprise. Some of us do not agree with the budget and charging by SID to create the deficiteach month. Others do not agree with that position so there you have it.
Dan Mattingly November 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
It is sad to say that Cal Water does not have a "by mail" water rate protest system. The low voting pattern on the SID part of town is consistent with general election patterns. The voting pattern on the more established part of Dixon served by Cal Water always has had the highest voter turnout and you would see this being used if allowed by Cal Water and the city would push for it. Even with the next round of SID rate increases, Cal Water users will still be paying alot more for water service than SID customers and Cal Water is asking for another rate increase soon. That is why I am asking for the city to service the whole city and not just take over SID.
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Sorry to inform you, Jack, but it is never too late. Rates have been rolled back before. But let the lazy complainers get off of their backsides for once and do the work they rely on the few to do ...
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
You forget one thing, Dane. This protest period was designed by the powers that be to coincide with the election where those who normally lead the protest where otherwise entertained. Aside from that, it is hard to argue with any of your points. But it ain't over until the "fat lady" water customer/complainers are done singing. I expect the howling to really start about the time people start using their water in the spring ...
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .... I second that ...
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I suggest you eat your utility bill. Good fiber. By the way, look for sewer bills to go up next to fund an unneeded "activated sludge" project pushed by Herb "Double" Cross and Mayor BJ ...
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Nonsense. Solano Irrigation District, of which you are a board member, refused to address its ridiculous 119% surcharge on all work done for the DSWA. If that rate was reduced to a more reasonable 65%, a $100,000 difference would have put the DSWA back in the black. Considering that the city is charging $200,000 to do billing, that charge could be substantially reduced again bringing us further into the black. The fact of the matter is you ignored these points and endorsed a cost allocation study that is as phony as your protestation. By the way, the accounting was never finalized, took three years to gin up, and was like pulling teeth to get. It all comes back to that old question: "Can you really trust them?"
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
the word is "constituents" ... and the city can do what SID does more effectively and in a more cost conscious way ... as John Galt said, "Get out of my way ..." and I will show you it can be done ...
The Great Libertarian December 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Dan, what Dane has told you is part of the story. People did have the ability to send their protest in by mail. They received a notification about this in the mail. Many sit back and expect the Dixon Chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association to go door to door to collect these like they have done in the past. Dan, as for Cal Water, yes their rates are astronomical and they are going higher. The difference is they are governed by the Public Utilities Commission who, in their infinite wisdom, decided to hold the hearings in San Fransicko after they got scared seeing four people at one of their "outreach" meetings in Dixon. I agree that Cal Water definitely needs to be "absorbed" sometime in the future. It will have to wait until after we have trained staff and a "utility district" established and functioning at optimal levels.

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