Drought planning (July 28, 2016)

The Town of Apple Valley leadership has been ginning up opposition to Liberty Utilities by decrying the recent rate increases made necessary by the drought.

Part of the proper operation of a water utility is the ability to look into the future to predict both growth and the price of maintaining the system. This is something at which Liberty Utilities and its predecessor (Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company) have excelled for many, many years.

Now we see what can happen when a municipally-run water utility fails to anticipate the future, as water rates in nearby Yorba Linda are going up by $25 per month (Judge: Water district can hike rates during drought, Daily Press, July 27, 2016). Why? Because Yorba Linda has higher costs due to the drought.

We have the typical half-acre lot, and our bi-monthly water bill has been around $60 for the last year. A $25 per month increase would be an almost 95% increase in our bill. Compared to the reasonable and gradual increases we’ve seen from Liberty Utilities, this would be a real shock to the system.

Considering the fact that the Town of Apple Valley has a well-documented history of failure when it comes to planning and maintenance, it seems pretty clear that anyone who supports the Town’s hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities is by extension supporting poor planning and shoddy maintenance, punctuated by massive rate increases.

If we allow the Town to seize Liberty Utilities, we deserve every calamity that befalls us.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.