Monday, June 18 , 2018, 3:43 am | Fair 52º


Kristen Amyx: Goleta Water District Should Delay Raising Rates 73%

Questions need to be answered before approving the proposal and placing an unfair burden on new businesses

Kristen Amyx
Kristen Amyx

The Goleta Water District is proposing to raise rates for new business water users by 73 percent. The current rate for a new water supply charge is $26,240 per acre-foot, and the new, proposed rate is $45,361 per acre-foot.

While we understand that the district is facing an overall budget problem, this solution appears to place an extraordinary burden on new businesses to solve a long-existing problem.

Right now, everyone in business and government is focusing on the economic recovery that is slowly taking hold, and a great priority is being placed on improving our local economy and jobs. The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Goleta are especially focused on growing our local business economy in order to improve everyone’s quality of life. So the chamber is very concerned about this proposal, and any proposal from government agencies that stifle our ability to improve our economy.

It is too soon for the chamber to make a statement to the water district saying, “Don’t raise rates,” as the consultant’s report to the district on this issue was just released this week and there are a multitude of questions that should be asked and answered before taking dramatic steps. However, the district is planning to make a decision on this next Tuesday, March 8.

If you are as concerned about this as we are, please send an e-mail asking the district board to delay its decision and allow us and others to read the material, make comments, and discuss our concerns and other possible solutions. The district elected officials’ e-mail addresses are not listed on the Web site, so we ask that you send your comments to the general manager at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and copy me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

A quick note asking them to wait is all you need.

You may think that a new water supply charge doesn’t apply to you. But consider that every new home that is proposed, every high-tech business that needs to expand, every restaurant to open or recreational facility (ice rink?) will face an unpredicted 73 percent rise in their cost to start up. Most won’t be able to afford it and these expansions will not take place. That hurts all of us.

Click here to read the details.

I’ll be at the water district hearing on Tuesday, so please let me know your thoughts or plan to attend. I look forward to hearing from you.

— Kristen Amyx is president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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