The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is proposing a user fee to replace the $3.7 million in revenue lost from the old user fee, with revenue going to operational costs such as capital acquisition, aquifer storage and recovery, ground water replenishment, water supply management, water demand management and water augmentation programs. The proposed fee will be charged to Cal Am "main system" users.
The district will host have a public hearing for the proposed water use fee at 7 p.m. June 12 at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey. Property owners in the district serviced by Cal Am's "main system" should speak out about the proposed fee. Complete and return the protest form by June 12.
The district is undergoing a Prop. 218 process to enact the new fee. The amount of the fee for each parcel of property will be based on the use of the parcel. The annual fee is the sum of the parcel user's meter fee based on the size of the meter and the water usage fee per unit multiplied by the number of units for that parcel use.
Here is a list of the water usage fee on parcels with restaurants. It doesn't factor in the meter fee based on meter size. A complete table of the proposed fees is available.
WATER USAGE FEE PER UNIT
For more information about the annual water use fee, contact the district's community relations liaison at 831.658.5653.
Since 1983, the MPWMD has collected a fee from Cal Am customers and other water system customers. Most recently, the fee was set as an 8.325 percent surcharge on Cal Am customer bills. For fiscal year 2010-2011, this was budgeted to bring in $3.7 million in revenue - approximately 46 percent of the District's overall budgeted revenues.
CPUC action on the user fee In July 2009, during its review of Cal Am's rate case, the CPUC ruled that Cal Am could no longer collect the fee for MPWMD, despite MPWMD's legal authority as a government authority to assess such a fee.
While awaiting resolution on the fee issue from the CPUC, Cal-Am continued to pay the district its user fee from a memorandum account. In 2011, CPUC directed Cal-AM to close out the memorandum account and stop paying the user fee. Cal Am has agreed to fund at least $1.6 million of the annual program costs through 2014. The district plans to fund the remainder of the program through other revenue sources, yet does not have any revenue available to fund development of water supply projects.
Source: Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Use Fee Fact Sheet
For more information about the water use fee from the proponents and opponents, visit the following websites:
Opponents of the fee: http://www.stopwatertax.org/
Proponents of the fee: http://www.mpwmd.dst.ca.us/WaterUseFee/index.htm
Javier Gonzalez can be reached at email@example.com.