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Camarosa Water Board Unveils Plan to Reduce Rates for Everyone


Directors of the embattled Camrosa Water District have unveiled a new billing rate that could replace a controversial plan that has left some homeowners with monthly bills of $500 or more.

Responding to complaints from customers who said the current rates unfairly penalize them for going over their allotted share, the district on Tuesday outlined a two-tiered system that would reduce rates for everyone, General Manager Gina Manchester said.

In the current three-tiered system, customers can be charged 10 times the normal rate if they exceed their allocation. The new system eliminates that charge.

The board, which did not have a quorum, postponed action until Monday on the item.

The high rates imposed last spring as a conservation measure have sparked a recall campaign against three water district directors and a payment boycott by some customers.

Some customers were not appeased by the new rates. Camarillo resident James M. Mello said the rate proposal favors those who use more water and does not encourage conservation as the state enters its sixth year of drought.

"You're not encouraging the high-end water user to reduce consumption," Mello said.

Mello said 41% of the water supply is consumed by 10% of the users.

Camrosa board President Jack C. Rogers and Directors Kenneth P. Gerry and Kenneth Goth face a possible recall on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The Camrosa district supplies about 8,400 residential and 200 agricultural customers in eastern Camarillo and the Santa Rosa Valley.

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