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Letter: Are EID rates fair, equitable?

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The new wholesale water rates EID?s Board approved for the City of Placerville on May 14 again proved that ?fair and equitable? EID rates are in the eye of the beholder. Placerville uses 5.1 percent of EID?s sold water but pays just 1.7 percent of EID?s water rate revenues. For 2,700 cubic feet bi-monthly (the average usage benchmark in EID?s rate comparison charts), regular EID residential ratepayers from El Dorado Hills to Pollock Pines pay EID $504 annually (including surcharges). Yet, EID?s management and Placerville city officials convinced four EID Directors that a charge of $132 annually for each 2,700 cubic feet sold to Placerville is ?fair and equitable.? Only El Dorado Hills? director stood up for rate equity to 38,600 regular ratepayers. For those of you keeping score, this is an equivalent 74 percent rate preference from EID leaders to their good friends at Placerville City Hall. While it?s certainly true that EID?s overhead costs to serve Placerville are lower than to serve regular ratepayers, overall costs are nowhere near 74 percent less ? the true cost differential is approximately 35 percent less. Placerville?s truly ?fair and equitable? rates should be $0.5 million higher annually than the $358,000 EID is charging them. EID?s 4-1 Board approval of $2 million of rate preferences to Placerville over four years demonstrates that all but one of EID?s leaders think having good friends at Placerville City Hall is far more important than fair and equitable rates to 38,600 regular EID residential, commercial and recreational turf ratepayers. So the next time you dine or go shopping in Placerville, in addition to the higher sales tax you pay to subsidize their water bills, think about the extra $2 million that your EID board and management gifted to the City of Placerville. And the next time you vote for an EID Director, ask yourself, ?Will this person be different and fairly protect the financial interests of regular ratepayers?? Greg Prada, Cameron Park