Letter: Follow-up on Daily Press Story about AVRWC (April 13, 2015)

Tony Penna, General Manager of AVRWC

I wanted to share with you some additional information for the Victorville Daily Press story that ran in Friday’s paper, APPLE VALLEY RANCHOS: Decision issued on water rates. We know rates for water service are a sensitive issue in our community, and wanted to take this opportunity to provide some context for this story and address some of the ongoing misinformation from the Town government.

First, this Proposed Decision by the Administrative Law Judge of the CPUC is not the final decision. This is part of a rigorous and transparent regulatory process that ensures the public has the opportunity to be involved. This is a good thing and Ranchos welcomes it.

This regulatory process gives the Town government a seat at the table. A seat at the table is something Scott Nassif, Councilmember and the chief advocate for the hostile and unnecessary takeover of Ranchos, has said the Town government wants. We believe the Town government has more important priorities like public safety, roads, storm drainage and sewer system.

Second, with regard to the sewer system, did you know that our Town government raised the sewer rates after less than six minutes of discussion during a Council meeting? And for the record, that same kind of process has led to the Town government raising sewer fees slightly more than 75% since 2008 — substantially more than Ranchos has been authorized to raise its rates by the CPUC during the same period of time.

But there is more to this story about Ranchos’ application to the CPUC for a rate increase than the Town is sharing. In this rate case your Town government argued against infrastructure improvements to support system reliability. The Town government argued against the future growth that would bring jobs to the Town. The Town government objected to the storage tanks for additional fire protection when they specifically told Ranchos they would support them in this rate request. Also, the Town claims that they proposed the level pay plan adopted in the Proposed decision when, in fact, they opposed Ranchos’ request for a level pay plan for all customers and proposed that it only apply to low-income customers.

Thank you for your support, and for your efforts in sharing the facts about the unnecessary and hostile attempted takeover of Apple Valley Ranchos.


Tony Penna
Vice President/General Manager
Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company