Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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 tsakash@davisenterprise.net 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 tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
.

News

 
Rainbow City revival plans, one meeting at a time

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics