San Juan Water District hikes up water rates

If your water comes from San Juan Water District you might see a rate increase in May. The proposed hike will raise rates by 41 percent over the next five years.

If your water comes from San Juan Water District you might see a rate increase in May. The proposed hike will raise rates by 41 percent over the next five years. 

San Juan has 10,000 connections serving about 30,000 people. General Manager Paul Helliker said they have to make up for lost revenue after years of drought cutbacks.

“We want to make sure we can give our customers good quality water and it takes money to do that," Helliker said. 

He also said the company has to pay for maintenance and infrastructure of big projects like a $23 million water storage tank cover. The potential increased rate will start at about eight to nine percent each year. 

"A lot of that driven by inflation, we projected inflation to be three percent forward generally, we have other things going up faster than that, our cost for buying water," he said. 

But Folsom resident Tom Scott said high salaries, costly pensions and poor planning is San Juan's problem and he does not want to pay for it. 

“I do my part for the drought and I get rewarded with a 41 percent rate increase, a dead lawn and dead trees in my backyard," Scott said. 

We met Scott at his office in downtown Sacramento. He is the State Executive Director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He said he wants to fight this hike for small businesses owners. 

“You guys are piling it on and you are killing small business, and in doing so, you are killing working families. They just can’t, no pun intended, get over the water lines," Scott told us. 

Nothing has been finalized as San Juan officials said they are making changes, and the public hearing and final decision will be made March 29. 

San Juan also has wholesale customers in Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Folsom and parts of Sacramento, which buys water from the provider.

These buyers have also been hit with rate increases but those were finalized in January and will be implemented in July. Each district or water company has their own process of notifying customers and allocating the rate increase. 

Copyright 2017 KXTV


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