Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

City responds to lawsuit against utility rates and payments

By
From page A1 | April 05, 2013 |

The group suing the city over its water and wastewater utility services officially served the lawsuit to the city clerk’s office Wednesday. On Thursday, the city responded.

In a news release authored by the city manager’s office, the city disputes the claims made by the Yolo Ratepayers for Affordable Public Utility Services in their entirety.

“The city firmly believes the water and sewer rates are legally valid and the lawsuit is without merit,” the release said. “This is based on legal analysis by statewide experts on rate structure legalities.”

The ratepayer group, represented by Michael Harrington, and private citizen John R. Munn filed an amended complaint last week to a suit the parties filed in late January, alleging that the city fails to pay for the wastewater services it uses at city facilities, while also billing residents unfairly for wastewater.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs assert that the wastewater rates are unfair because the city’s billing system charges for winter “outdoor” water use that doesn’t enter the wastewater system, thus unfairly overcharging residents for the service.

The suit also reaffirms claims that the city fails to pay for the potable water it consumes on city property and that the rates and rate structures the city has and will employ to charge residents for water in Davis are illegal.

The city’s legal staff has 30 days from the date the city was served to file a written response with the Yolo Superior Court and with the plaintiffs. The two sides then will have to sit down to discuss a date for a public hearing of the writ case, according to City Attorney Harriet Steiner.

Meanwhile, the city’s public response to the suit appears to demonstrate a bit of frustration with being sued soon after completing the drawn-out public process to vet the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency surface water project and the rates the city needs to pay for it.

“The city has been working on water service delivery options for more than 20 years,” the news release said. “The surface water project and the water rates were determined and approved by the citizen-based Water Advisory Committee.

“The citizens asked for a binding vote on the surface water project. On March 5, Measure I was approved authorizing the city to move forward on the project. In addition, the water rates were approved by the City Council on (March 26) after the legally required Proposition 218 process resulted in less than 11 percent of the ratepayers protesting.

“It is unfortunate that the Yolo Ratepayers for Affordable Public Utility Services group are not satisfied with the outcome of the Measure I election. Based on the Measure I vote, the city has a duty to move forward and meet the city’s future water needs. The city will vigilantly defend itself and the ratepayers against this lawsuit. Regretfully, the Davis ratepayers will bear the cost of defending this lawsuit.”

Steiner told The Enterprise Thursday that the suit would not affect implementation of the water rates that the City Council adopted last month.

Those rates are expected to triple the average water bill in Davis by 2018.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8