* Thursday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m., Davis Senior Center, 646 A St.;
* Monday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., Korematsu Elementary School, 3100 Loyola Drive;
* Public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m., Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.
In the first of three meetings the city of Davis will hold to answer questions on its proposed water rates, questions Thursday night at Patwin Elementary School ranged from the appearance of the surface water project building to deep-in-the-weeds mathematics concerning water rate numbers.
Herb Niederberger, the city’s general manager of utilities and its go-to expert on water rates — with decades of experience working with utilities — was on hand to answer and ask questions of an audience perhaps 20 people strong with a diverse set of concerns.
The next two meetings are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St.; and Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. at Korematsu Elementary School, 3100 Loyola Drive. The meetings follow the mailing of informational brochures on the water rates, required under Proposition 218, to water customers. Those brochures also were available at Thursday’s meeting.
Deputy City Manager Kelly Stachowicz said the two following meetings are scheduled for September to catch residents who may be on vacation this month.
As it is, the city is only legally required to hold a public hearing on the rates, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. The three community meetings are being held to answer residents’ questions and provide information ahead of the public hearing, Stachowicz said.
As an example, Niederberger reminded those present Thursday about city websites that will help water customers track their historic water usage and gain further information about the proposed rates.
The first is www.water.cityofdavis.org/watersmart-waterinsight, the Water Smart program’s home page, which provides a link to setting up personalized water use tracking information, as well as tips on how to reduce water use.
The second is the city’s water page, www.water.cityofdavis.org, which provides both a link to the Water Smart page and posted information about the water rates and recent city actions.
The Prop. 218 process provides a way for property owners to protest the proposed rates by sending a formal, written, signed response described in the brochure. Written protests also may be handed to city staff at the public hearing on Sept. 16 up until the close of the public comment portion of the hearing.
Customers cannot submit protests to city staff at community meetings and verbal protests do not count toward the vote.
Customers who agree with the city’s water rate proposal need do nothing.
— Reach Dave Ryan at email@example.com or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews