By Karen Brainard
Ramona Municipal Water District has rescheduled its public hearing on water and sewer rates for Oct. 25 due to the re-issuing of its Proposition 218 letter to customers, said district General Manager Ralph McIntosh.
The Proposition 218 letters, required by state law, must be sent to customers with proposed not-to-exceed rates at least 45 days prior to the public hearing. According to McIntosh, because the 4:30 p.m. start time for the hearing was accidentally omitted in the letter when it was prepared by the law firm of Best Best & Krieger, the letter had to be re-issued to state the time. That re-starts the clock, McIntosh said, with the 45-day requirement.
The cost to prepare and resend the letter will be borne by the law firm, he said.
The hearing was originally set for Sept. 13 with rates going into effect Oct. 1. The public hearing change means new rates will not go into effect until Nov. 1. McIntosh said the new Prop 218 letters have already been sent to customers.
The proposed not-to-exceed rates for fiscal year 2011-12 are a 3 percent increase in sewer rates for customers of both the Santa Maria and the San Vicente wastewater reclamation plants, a 60-cent per unit increase for untreated water, and an increase in the water service fee that would amount to about $7.24 bimonthly for an average family. The rate for treated water will not increase.