Victorville and water (November 12, 2015)

Victorville appreciates the apology we received from Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company and has no desire to enter the discussion on water service in Apple Valley. However, the apology fell short of explaining the errors in the original Valley Voices piece submitted by their manager of financial services. The original letter was correct in stating cities charge connection fees for new service and private companies do not. These connection fees ensure that the need for new infrastructure is borne only by new development and not by our current residents.

Victorville keeps those fees wholly separate from other infrastructure fees built into our rates for capital replacement purposes. Victorville has never dipped into the connection fees to supplement day-to-day operations. Contrary to the letter, our ratepayers can rest assured that they are paying the actual cost for their water service. During the Great Recession, the City Council voted four times to forego previously approved rate increases in light of the economic hardship facing our customers. The City Council made those tough decisions, knowing it would mean some projects would have to wait for better times to be completed and has faced unfair criticism by the state for doing so.

Our customers do not have to worry about politicians issuing a bond as there is no interest in doing so and no need, given the fiscal conservatism shown by the current City Council. The rates for water service are low as a result, and we are putting together a plan to catch up on those major replacement projects which will be discussed at a workshop in the near future. Victorville applauds its water customers for their conservation efforts, which have allowed us to meet the conservation demands of the state. We invite the public to come be a part of the discussion as the City Council makes critical decisions that will affect water service long term. Victorville believes this is exactly the accountability and responsible government Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company chose to question in their original Valley Voices OpEd piece, and felt it imperative to get the facts straight on this issue.

Douglas B. Robertson, City Manager Victorville

Source: Daily Press