The Cambrian

Cambria CSD delays vote on rate increases

The Cambria Community Service District’s Board of Directors still hasn’t decided if, when or exactly which rate-increase proposal they’d officially recommend to their ratepayers. The decisions about higher CCSD rates for well water, treated water and sewage treatment have been postponed to at least July 12.

That’s as far out into the calendar as the decision can be pushed, legal counsel Tim Carmel told the directors Thursday, June 21, if the they want the mandatory 45-day public-review process complete in time to launch the new rates in September.

Board members decided more time is needed to consider budget impacts, alternatives and the mostly negative recent public input about rate-increase options that consultant Alex Handlers had presented at a townhall workshop two days earlier.

The board sent the district’s fiscal issues to what promises to be a lengthy combined meeting of the district’s standing infrastructure and finance committees at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 11.

Once the board gets the committees’ joint recommendations, district directors are to decide on the issues at another special meeting the next day, at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 12. Among the topics there are how and when those new rates would be put in place: All at once, phased in over a three-year period or smaller increases phased in.

The meetings will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

Under state law, district account holders must decide if the new rate structure will be put in place. Ratepayers can file official notices of objection during the mandatory public-review period. Those who don’t object are deemed to have approved the new rates.

On June 21, the board passed (on a 4-0 vote with Director Harry Farmer abstaining) a nearly $11.7 million preliminary 2018-2019 operating budget that doesn’t include any revenue from the proposed rate increases. Costs were slashed, according to General Manager Jerry Gruber, who said some important expenditures and infrastructure improvements were deferred (again) to balance that budget.

The board’s regular June meeting starts at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

For the agenda and details about the proposal, go to the district’s newly configured website at