I just caught the end of the rerun for the May 9 council meeting. They were discussing the last item of the night...the budget. Apparently, the city has been losing a lot of money to water leaks. They lost 29% of their water in 2015, and they lost another 21% in 2016. All due to leaks. This question was asked many times in the past, and only know is it being answered.
The new City Manager is recommending that money from the General Fund be used to help pay off the water bond debt. I am not sure if he meant General Fund or General Fund reserves. He said Marcie wants the money taken out of some water fund. Who is Marcie?
Here's a strange thing: The city is NOT recommending a tax increase in 2017-2018. (Is this a trick statement? There is no election in 2017.) Or are they really going to forfeit the rumored parcel tax? Maybe they decided a water rate increase is a better idea. It's easier to pass a Prop 218 measure than it would be a parcel tax, which would require a full 2/3s of the vote to pass.
Capoccia was stressed. Arizmendi said the report was "sobering." I think she said we need to find money for infrastructure. I realize I came in late watching this, but...isn't that what the 2011 and 2014 water rate increases were supposed to cover? Infrastructure? How many years are they going to cry wolf and not fix the pipes??
Now that I look back, I remember seeing Barbara Leigh ask a question from the podium at this May 9 meeting. I think I was watching it live. She asked how much was left on the water debt and Arizmendi told her to stay tuned. (It would be included in the budget item later that evening.) While watching the rerun tonight, I didn't hear the magic number but I'll bet I would have if I had tuned in earlier.
Mod: There might be a silver lining to this dark cloud. It would appear that the city might actually be ready to admit that the millions of dollars in remaining water bond debt really is the reason for raising water rates here for the third time in the last seven years. I posted about this debt on May 8, and you can link to that bit of news by clicking here. And yes, the magic number is there. Actually, there is a whole lot of them.