By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– In less than one week, on Wednesday, April 30, two public participation hearings will be held in Apple Valley to discuss Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company’s (AVR) proposal to raise local water rates – again. The hearings will be hosted by the California Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for reviewing and approving AVR’s rate increases. Customers of AVR are urged to attend one of the two public hearings being held to voice their concerns as the company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of the multi-billion dollar Carlyle Group, has submitted an application to raise rates significantly over the next three years.
“We strongly urge all Apple Valley Ranchos customers to come out in force next week and voice their opinions,” said Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop. “It will be up to the citizens of Apple Valley to make it known how deeply these rate hikes impact them.”
The following Public Participation Hearings have been scheduled:
Wednesday, April 30 at 1pm and 6pm
Apple Valley Conference Center
14975 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley, CA 92307
During the hearing, customers will have the opportunity to discuss the rate hikes and learn more about AVR’s proposed increases. The company submitted an application with the California Public Utilities Commission in January of this year requesting authorization to substantially raise water rates for customers in Apple Valley over the next three years.
The company is asking for increases of 14.88% in 2015, 8.48% in 2016 and 8.19% in 2017. These rates would be compounding, meaning that the near 9% increase planned for 2016 would be on top of the proposed near 15% increase in 2015. Average users would see their water bills increase dramatically if AVR’s application is granted.
“This is not the first time rates have been raised,” said Mayor Bishop. “Apple Valley Ranchos has proposed, and been granted, rate hikes numerous times during the past decade. The proposed hikes would be difficult for many in Apple Valley to afford.”
The Town of Apple Valley intervened in the process to protect its interest and its residents’ interests, and it has been granted “party status” by the assigned Administrative Law Judge. As an affected party in the rate case, the Town of Apple Valley is strongly urging AVR customers to attend one of these meetings and make their concerns known.