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El Dorado Hills residents protest EID’s proposed rate hike

By: Penne Usher Telegraph Correspondent
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Hundreds of angered El Dorado Hills residents turned out for a Wednesday public meeting to voice their concerns over the El Dorado Irrigation District’s proposed rate hike. AT least 200 EID ratepayers filled a conference room at El Dorado Hills Fire Station 85 to hear what EID officials had to say, while about 100 others milled about outside the building and in a lobby. EID has proposed a rate increase of 35 percent in 2010, followed by increases of 15 percent in 2011 and 5 percent in each year from 2012 through 2014 — a cumulative increase of 85 percent. EID officials said that the agency sorely overestimated revenue and without the rate hike will be unable to meet its financial responsibilities. Last year the district projected $14 million in new hook-up (revenue), but received only $1 million, one EID official told the group during a PowerPoint presentation. Additionally the agency projected $62.5 million in overall revenue with revised projected revenue of $55.49 million. For ratepayers, they say it’s all underhanded. Mary Landucci, an El Dorado Hills resident, could hardly contain her anger. She said the small notice from EID regarding the proposed increase was sent during the Christmas holiday season and overlooked by many. Additionally, a 51 percent protest response from rate payers is required to stop the increase, however, there is concern that the number might not be met, or under-reported, because EID is the one doing the counting. “The bottom line is people have had enough,” she said. “This is underhanded and just plain wrong.” Many questioned why the meeting was held in a location that clearly could not accommodate the numerous concerned residents of the county, let alone El Dorado Hills. “Obviously they scheduled a spot where there wasn’t enough room,” said 27-year-old Nathan Browning. “They don’t want to hear what we have to say.” The gap to be filled in EID’s budget is reportedly $13 million. Until now EID has reports that it has successfully met its operation needs and its rate covenant needs through cost reduction, but the consensus of the EID board and staff at Monday’s committee meeting was that there is very little if any possibility to achieve additional cost reduction, according to an e-mail sent by EID to El Dorado Hills Citizens Alliance and obtained by the Telegraph. Read the full story in the Jan. 20 edition of the El Dorado Hills Telegraph -------------- Another public meeting is scheduled for Pollock Pines When: 6-8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18 Where: Pollock Pines Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive Public Hearing What: EID public hearing When: 6 p.m., Feb. Where: El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting room, 330 Fair Lane, Building A, Placerville