What EID’s GM and Board Don’t Tell You About Water Rates
October 7, 2011
EID’s Board-approved Water rates are up 85% since 2003 under the current Board. And, another 28% is on the way for 2012!
EID’s “All-in” Water rates are 23% to 110% higher than the four surrounding Water districts of Folsom, South Tahoe, Citrus Heights and Sacramento.
(As a Special District, EID gets Property Tax revenues to subsidize rates, but deceptively fails to include these subsidies when presenting comparisons of rates/full costs vs. near-by districts.)
EID’s Board approved a 34% increase in the 2011 Water Operations budget:
To pay for this 34% budget increase, EID’s General Manager presented a proposed 32% residential Water rate increase for 2012 in his June 13, 2011 Cost of Services presentation. In a revised proposal to be reviewed October 11, 2011, he now proposes a 28% Water rate increase based on different usage. Click Here to see the GM's Oct 11 chart.
Not yet included in the 28% proposed 2012 residential Water rate increase is $50 million of unfunded retiree pension and medical benefits which, when paid for, could require an additional 20% Water rate increase.
Despite recent spending cut-backs, EID’s 2011 Overhead spending still is up $10 million (143%) since 2002, while the number of Water customers increased just 17% and the Consumer Price Index increased just 23%.
EID Debt has more than tripled from $110 million in 2002 to $390 million; half of the increased debt is for excess capacity, as valued by EID’s Finance Director. EID’s debt costs now account for 35% of rates.
Various accounting chicanery is being explored by EID’s GM to mitigate and obfuscate the proposed 28% Water rate increase, including more debt refinancing, not paying for the unfunded retiree benefit obligations, and presenting non-comparable data.