Oak Shores Lake Naci News January 2019
Please send your protest letters in ASAP!
Board of Supervisors
San Luis Obispo County
1055 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Subject: Proposed Ordinance Amending the Wastewater Service Charges in County Service Area No. 7A (CSA 7A – Oak Shores) (the “Proposed Ordinance”)
Public Hearing Date: January 29, 2019
Dear Honorable Members of the Board of Supervisors:
I am a resident within the Oak Shores Community Association, Inc. (the “Association”) which is a community comprised of 851 lots within the County Service Area 7A. Along with the Association and its Board of Directors, I wanted to personally reach out to communicate my strong disagreement with and opposition to the Proposed Ordinance and service charge increase.
Just as the very intent of Proposition 218 is to ensure that all taxes and most charges on property owners are subject to voter approval, Proposition 218 also aims to prevent abuses in the use of assessments and fees. Accordingly, Prop 218 (Cal. Const. Art. 13D) provides that if written protests against the proposed fee or charge are presented by a majority of owners of the identified parcels, the agency shall not impose the fee or charge.
While I do not disagree that an increase may be necessary to properly fund reserves to an amount equal to the suggested target of six months of operating expenses, my opposition with the Proposed Ordinance is based on the fact that it appears that once the reserve fund reaches the target amount of six months’ worth of operating expenses, the increased rate continues indefinitely resulting in a much larger reserve without a plan or timeline on how and when more substantial capital improvements will be made and without any disclosure as to whether or not such a large increase in the service charge is warranted. Perhaps a sunset on the increase would allay these concerns. I do not support nor desire to pay for the past failures and lack of proactive management which have led to the current state of disrepair and deferred maintenance.
Contrary to the characterization in the staff report, when staff held a community meeting on August 30, 2018, meeting attendees did not and still do not unanimously recommend the proposed four-fold increase in the monthly service rate. I take issue with the staff report’s declaration that staff has provided a complete disclosure of CSA 7A financials to the Association’s members. Although financials have been provided, the disclosures importantly failed to provide information as to the timing, budgets and cost estimates for the improvements to be funded by the increased service rate. In fact, the staff report can only provide a range of between $1.7 M to $7.3 M for the need for “future improvements.” How can you expect me to support paying such a large increase in service charges and funding a reserve when the cost of improvements is unknown and estimated at such a substantial differential between the top and bottom points of the range? Would you be comfortable approving such a potentially huge price differential?
We are simply asking for budgets and projections that describe the deferred maintenance and improvements to be performed, the cost of each such project, and the target for completion. This information is critical to helping the ratepayers to understand precisely how this substantial rate increase will actually be used. The information provided to date is entirely devoid of a plan of action on how and when the issues will be resolved.
Accordingly, I am requesting that the Board of Supervisors take the following actions:
1. Vote against the proposed ordinance and rate increase;
2. Require the County to provide a more detailed plan that, at a minimum, includes the following information (i) comprehensively details the specific projects including the scope, costs, and timeline for commencement and completion of the project; (ii) documents how and when the funds resulting from any rate increase will be used to accomplish the stated needs; and (iii) provides a projection (with more details than already provided) as to any future rate changes once deferred maintenance has been accomplished that may be contemplated.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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