TOAV: Water costs to skyrocket at park (July 1, 2015)

AVR says discount sends wrong message to ratepayers

APPLE VALLEY — Following a request to terminate a discount for water used on the town-owned golf course, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Co. also is asking the California Public Utilities Commission to end a lowered rate for the town’s park at James A. Woody Community Center.


Apple Valley Ranchos believes parks and ball fields are important community assets and that the cost of maintaining and operating them should be paid for by the town and not our water customers, AVR Vice President and General Manager Tony Penna said by email. Apple Valley Ranchos, as the community’s regulated water company, provided the town a discounted rate for the golf course and James Woody Park, which other Ranchos customers were effectively subsidizing.

Now it appears the town believes they should receive water service for its facilities for nearly nothing, even though they are no longer eligible for a discounted rate.


The relationship between the town and AVR has been chilly since town officials began their efforts to take over the company, and both sides made reference to the issue in their comments on the park water rate.

In its filing with the CPUC, AVR indicates that it is taking the action because the town is considering a purchase or takeover of AVR, the town writes a news release posted on its website.

Meanwhile, the water company blames any potential shortfalls on the town for spending money on takeover preparations.

While the town government claims it may not have money to maintain its parks, they continue to irresponsibly use taxpayer money — over a million dollars to date — to attack the reputation of Ranchos with misinformation and unfounded speculation, Penna said.

AVR says in its CPUC filing, called an advice letter, that it wants to end the reduced-rate agreement because it is concerned about providing discounts for irrigation service in the current drought emergency, it is inconsistent with the mandates for residential water-use cutbacks and because the town seeks to acquire the water company.

The town filed a protest against the AVR request with the CPUC on June 23, and the water company replied to the protest on Tuesday.

Penna told the Daily Press on Wednesday it is up to the commission to set the effective dates if the requests to terminate the golf course and park’s water-rate discounts are granted.

Source: Gary Brodeur, Daily Press