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We all need to say ‘no’ to water fees

Posted: June 2, 2009 6:52 p.m.
Updated: June 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Editor's note: The following letter was sent to Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry, the City Council and City Manager Ken Pulskamp.

Santa Clarita got scammed.

Last November, we dutifully voted to outlaw self-generating water softeners, and to finance a buyback of the equipment.

Barely six months after passing that measure, citizens are faced with one and possibly two, water pollution rate increases. The Sanitation District never intended to give the buyback measure a chance to work.

Under the county measure, the proposed sewer service Charge rate nearly doubles in the first three years after passage - and may continue to increase for up to seven years.

The second, the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Fee, is even more insidious.

While 86 percent of the properties in the city will see a decline in their rates, many of the other households will see their fees increase tenfold.

I submit the methodology is wrong: The areas receiving the largest increases, indeed any increase, are those properties with more acreage. Many areas, such as Valencia, which are more densely packed, are receiving rate reductions.

Realistically, the proposal should be reversed. Valencia properties are more densely packed with more of the land concreted. Runoff, even from a modest rain, is immediate.

Properties on larger pieces of land have a smaller footprint allowing much of the water to percolate into the aquifer.

These are the properties which replenish our valuable water resources, yet these are the properties being most heavily taxed! Rethink that policy!

These are tough economic times; some property owners might be forced into foreclosure with these tax increases. At least one of the proposed measures is poorly planned and needs to be reevaluated.

In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, I urge the City Council to "just say no" to both these increases.


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