City of Chico discusses filing for ‘Party’ status in Cal Water rate increase case; let’s encourage them to go all the way and file for ‘Intervenor’ status

25 Nov

The agenda for next week’s city council meeting (Dec. 1) includes a proposal for the city to file for “Party Status” in the rate increase case filed by Cal Water last July.  Here is an excerpt from the report:

California Water Service Company (Application No. 15-07-015) California Water Service Company (“Cal Water”) filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission to increase rates and consolidate the Chico district into a proposed “Northern Region.” This memorandum seeks City Council authority to become a party in the pending application.

Cal Water provides water service to the City and its residents. Cal Water is requesting water rate increases for years 2017, 2018 and 2019. The proposed increases are 19.1%, 1.6%, and 2.8% respectively.

The proposed rate increases would impose a significant burden on the City, as a customer of Cal Water. The rate increases would also impose an undue hardship on City residents. As a Cal Water customer and on behalf of its residents residing in the Chico district, the City has an interest in minimizing the proposed rate increases.

In addition, Cal Water is seeking to consolidate its Chico, Oroville, Marysville and Willows districts as the proposed “Northern Region.” The proposed consolidation affects City and its residents because the City is one of the districts to be consolidated. If consolidation is granted, Cal Water requests rate increases of 20.3%, 1.7% and 2.4% for years 2017,2018 and 2019 respectively, for the combined Chico and Oroville districts within the Northern Region. lf consolidation is granted, the City, as well as Oroville residents, will shoulder an even higher burden than that which is requested in Cal Water’s general rate increase.

Although Butte County has joined as a party, the City’s specific interests are not adequately represented. The City’s participation will be relevant and beneficial to the proceeding.

CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION It is recommended the City Council direct staff to file a Motion of City of Chico to Become a Party

“Party Status,” unfortunately, just means the city, along with the county, are on the notice list of events in the eventual raising of our rates. In order to make a formal protest, they must file as “Intervenors,” but I can’t seem to convince them of that.

Please write to council and the supervisors and ask them to take that further step. Be nice – you get more flies with honey than vinegar. 

Chico City council can be reached by way of the clerk’s website – 

http://www.chico.ca.us/city_council/home_page.asp

Third District Supervisor Maureen Kirk was the first one to respond to my request, she went through a really onerous and ridiculous filing system to get on the Party List right away. Then she asked the board to do so.  She even went to a Chico city council meeting and sat there waiting through a long agenda to make a case for the city to do something.  I sat at home in my snuggies that night, yelling “Go Maureen! Yeeeee-haw!” into my computer screen.  

The CPUC rep that contacted Supervisor Kirk even admitted it would be good to have a lawyer’s assistance in filing the paperwork. I don’t even know if an individual can file for Intervenor status, that’s really a job for the entire board of supervisors. 

Reach them here: 

http://www.buttecounty.net/boardofsupervisors/Home.aspx

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