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Water agency not planning to increase rates

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Water Agency is not currently looking at rate increases to help cover the costs resulting from the April 19 Bear River Canal break, and instead is hoping to reimburse some customers. Joe Parker, director of financial services for PCWA, said Thursday there has been discussion about reimbursing irrigation customers for the water they haven’t received since the break occurred. “At the end of the day I don’t think the cost to the agency is going to result in anything to do with rates,” Parker said. Parker said the agency’s staff is firming up a pledge made by PG&E to cover up to $1.8 million of PCWA and NID break-related costs. Parker said for PCWA these costs would include pumping from the American River as well as paying for the water supplied by the city of Roseville and the San Juan Water District. Parker said agency staff plans to discuss these items with the board June 2. Parker said in 1977 the agency had to increase rates during a drought because of the cost incurred, but with PG&E’s financial assistance in this situation, that is not the current plan. “Because of that there doesn’t seem to be any need to cover any cost with a rate increase as of now,” he said. “I honestly don’t see that happening at all.” Parker said the board has to make the final decision on these issues. Ron Nelson, general manager of Nevada Irrigation District, said the agency has reimbursed some of its customers who decided to give up their water for the season. Nelson said there is also a pro-rate offer for customers who didn’t receive their scheduled amount of water. Monica Reyes, customer account administrator with NID, said $4,000 was reimbursed to nine customers who canceled their water. Reyes said four customers have also canceled their service and opted to leave a credit on their accounts. Nelson said the agency has not had to initiate scheduled rolling outages for its customers. “With this weather we have really been blessed in a way, because the demand has really been low,” Nelson said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com