PCWD [Pine Cove Wataer District] is an excellent water provider with very outstanding people.
But, why is PCWD contemplating raising rates again when they are only in the second of a three-year phase in rate increase?
And as to the lack of full-timers? Not in my neighborhood. I have had four new full-time neighbors in the last year. Besides the increase in full-time neighbors, my water bill only went up $4 when I moved up here full-time 32 months ago, as compared to the prior 12 years, largely due to the $50 base charge before the first gallon is used.
Apparently what PCWD really needs is to sell more water. And the rumor mill has it that Stonewood’s 70-plus customers might be swallowed up by PCWD in the near future.
But it’s the vicious conservation circle — the more water we save, the more ratepayers need to make up the lost cash flow. We can’t win. (Perhaps a dozen or so desert-lawn-loving-water-wasters with their four-figure water bills could bring their must-have-a-lawn mentality with them could provide a solution?)
But seriously, why not start by matching salaries and benefits to what the median income is in the pensionless private sector that live in Pine Cove instead of raising rates (again)? Or didn’t anyone notice that voters severely curtailed pensions in San Diego and San Jose earlier this month?
Just a couple of notes–Stonewood has only 27 homes total, with less than 10 full time residents, some of which are children. Between May 15 and June 3rd, some residents were without water for more than two weeks, and those who did have water were on boil notices. This has been an ongoing problem for the last 5 years as the outdated water system continues to degrade. Stonewood is an HOA which also owns its own water company. Residents are already paying $150 a month for three services: water, roads, and snow plowing. Given that the association is so small, it has been impossible for them to maintain the services adequately. The roads are patched by volunteer residents and inadequately plowed roads during the winter leaves many unable to access their homes for extended periods of time, and now the water crisis. There are grants available, but the area doesn't qualify because most of the residents/owners are weekenders whose Stonewood homes are second homes, which also means that their incomes bump Stonewood out of the income limits for rural area grants, leaving the full-time residents who fall within the rural grant limits stuck. And, like the article says, we have no water for fire protection because the pressure is too low.
There must be someone somewhere who can help, otherwise Stonewood will become uninhabitable when the water system fails completely.