Visalia files formal protest of Cal Water’s recent rate increase proposal

26 Aug

Good news from Third District Supervisor Maureen Kirk – the city of Visalia has filed a formal protest of their rate increase case. Of course it’s a separate filing but at last the attack seems to be on.

PROTEST OF THE CITY OF VISALIA TO CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE COMPANY’S APPLICATION TO INCREASE RATES FOR WATER SERVICE IN ALL ITS DISTRICTS

I. INTRODUCTION Pursuant to Rule 2.6 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, the City of Visalia (“Visalia”) files this protest to the application of California Water Service Company (“CalWater”) for an order 1) authorizing it to increase rates for water service by $94,838,100 or 16.5% in test year 2017, 2) authorizing it to increase rates on January 1, 2018 by $22,959,600 or 3.4%, and on January 1, 2019 by $22,588,200 or 3.3% in accordance with the Rate Case Plan, and 3) adopting other related rulings and relief necessary to implement the Commission’s ratemaking policies. CalWater’s application first appeared in the Commission’s Daily Calendar on July 14, 2015, therefore this protest is timely filed.

II. ISSUES IN DISPUTE As a general matter, Visalia intends to address the reasonableness of the revenue requirements requested by CalWater in its districts in general, but in the Visalia District specifically, and the associated ratemaking mechanisms on behalf of all ratepayers. Visalia does not know at this time which specific issues it will focus its analysis. It is likely that Visalia will address issues similar to those addressed in the last water company general rate case, personnel, general office, capital, special requests, and, if applicable, rate design. Visalia may also address additional issues as its analysis proceeds.

III. PROCEDURAL MATTERS A. Proceeding Categorization and Need for Hearings Visalia agrees with CalWater’s categorization of this proceeding as “ratesetting” and need for hearings. B. Proposed Procedural Schedule Visalia does not have a schedule to propose at this time but does request that hearings be held at several locations in which Cal Water operates, and that Visalia be a location for a hearing.

Wow, that seems simple enough, but  try writing stuff like this in layman’s language and see how fast they lay their hand across your forehead – NEXT! I’m hoping our county counsel will do something like this, and this morning I sent a note to Chico Mayor Mark Sorensen and City Mangler Mark Orme, asking for some action on their part.

To: mark.sorensen@chicoca.gov, mark.orme@chicoca.gov
 
Hi Fellows, 
I’m forwarding this I got from Maureen Kirk – the city of Visalia has filed a formal protest of their water rate increase. It’s time for the city of Chico to look into this. 
You can check with Maureen, the county is thinking about filing also. 
I would file myself, but looking at these forms and having discussed the subject with a CPUC employee, I realize I’d need legal help that is already available to you. 
I don’t know how much you know about this rate increase. Cal Water is also asking for consolidation with the Oroville and Marysville and Willows districts, which have outrageous infrastructure costs due to many years of neglect of their systems. According to a separate protest filed by the Office or Ratepayer Advocates, Cal Water has made requests that are not included in the public notice, including but not limited to an elimination of the 10 % cap on WRAM. 
I can forward you the information from the ORA if you are interested. You can get more information from Maureen. 

Thanks for your anticipated attention to this matter, Juanita Sumner

Please send a simple note like the above to the Marks, ask them nicely to act on this rate increase. If we can get enough people to protest this thing, we have a very good chance of turning it back.

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