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Prop. 218 notices on water rates to be mailed this month

By From page A2 | July 16, 2014

Davis residents will receive an important piece of mail by July 31.

The City Council voted 4-0, with Councilman Brett Lee absent, to send out a Proposition 218 notice, an explanation of the council’s chosen water rate, which uses a largely gallon-by-gallon charge, with only a 13 percent fixed charge.

The rate’s low fixed charge is less costly for low water users and potentially more expensive for higher-end users with large lawns that require irrigation.

The rate is based on a rate constructed by El Macero resident Matt Williams and Davis resident Donna Lemongello, but slightly altered by Bartle Wells Associates, a water rate consulting agency, to include no tiers.

On Tuesday that distinction was on display as Measure P supporters urged the council to adopt the Williams-Lemongello rate, which they said would ease perceived inequity between apartment building owners and single-family homeowners who have large yards.

“The small difference in accepting the Williams-Lemongello rate will ease this,” former Mayor Sue Greenwald said.

Measure P, an initiative, threw out the city’s former water rates, which were designed to help pay for the Woodland-Davis surface water project. Water will be drawn from the Sacramento River, treated at a plant in Woodland — which is now under construction — and piped to users in the two cities.

But the council was in no mood to reopen the debate, voting instead to move forward with a protest vote under Prop. 218 and a review of the city’s lifeline program, which helps residents who cannot afford to pay their water bill.

If the new rate survives the Prop. 218 protest vote — only property owners are allowed to cast votes — it would take effect Nov. 1.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Dave Ryan

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