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Corte Madera, CA                                                                                   March 2011
The Inside Source is produced by Marin Municipal Water District to inform local decisionmakers and opinion leaders on issues affecting Marin's water, people, and environment.

Features
Board Proposes 4-percent Rate Increase
MMWD Buys Less Water This Year
Rate Advisory Committee Meets Next Week
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MMWD Board of Directors
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Public Meetings

Wed., Apr. 6, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING
 
Board Room
 

Wed., Apr. 13, 7:00 pm
WATER RATE
PUBLIC WORKSHOP 
Board Room
 
Wed., Apr. 20, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING
 
Canceled


Wed., Apr. 27, 7:30 pm
 
WATER RATE

PUBLIC HEARING

Council Chambers
San Rafael City Hall
1400 Fifth Avenue

RAINFALL SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE; RESERVOIRS STILL FULL

As a result of higher than average rainfall this winter, MMWD's seven reservoirs have been at or near full capacity almost continuously since December 29, 2010. Historically the reservoirs are at 88 percent of capacity in mid-March, while last year at this time they were at 98 percent. Total combined capacity of the reservoirs is 79,566 acre-feet of water.*

 

Annual rainfall year to date (July 1, 2010 to March 17, 2011) is 47.51 inches; average is 43.58 inches. Rainfall on the same date last year was 44.62 inches.

 

Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on the homepage of our website.


 *One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.    


MMWD ISSUES NOTICE PROPOSING 4-PERCENT RATE INCREASE

MMWD recently mailed a notice of a proposed rate increase to 85,784 ratepayers and property owners in the district's service area, which covers central and southern Marin as well as the San Geronimo Valley. The Board of Directors will vote on the proposal at a public hearing on April 27.

 

If approved, the average customer's bill would go up $3.72 per two-month billing period, increasing from $90.72 to $94.44. The increase would go into effect for water used beginning May 1, 2011 and it would be reflected in meter readings beginning July 1, 2011. To read the full notice, click here.

 

Even with this proposed rate increase, water from MMWD is a good value, costing just cent per gallon delivered to homes and businesses 24/7.  


MMWD SAVES MONEY BY BUYING 18 PERCENT LESS SCWA WATER THIS YEAR

As one of many efforts to reduce district expenses, MMWD has reduced the amount of water purchased from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) by 18 percent so far this year. That translates into a dollar savings of close to $300,000. In an average year, 25 percent of the water we consume is Russian River water purchased from SCWA. This year, the total amount purchased will be about 20-21 percent.

 

The district has made budget cuts in each of the last two fiscal years (16.6 percent last year and 4.9 percent the year before) in response to lower than projected revenues from water sales. Other cost-saving measures include instituting a hiring freeze, drastically reducing overtime, reducing capital spending and reducing spending in all departments including conservation, watershed management and operations and maintenance.


WATER RATE ADVISORY COMMITTEE'S FIRST MEETING ON MARCH 23

This month a new committee of 16 community members representing various water use categories and areas of expertise will convene to study MMWD's current water rate structure. The MMWD Board of Directors has asked this committee to evaluate MMWD's rate structure with the goals of securing a more consistent base revenue stream to cover operating costs and to ensure that costs are fairly and accurately allocated across all customer categories.

 

The committee will be co-chaired by Mill Valley resident Anne Layzer and San Rafael resident Roger Roberts. As a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, Ms. Layzer has attended MMWD board meetings for many years and served on two previous water rate advisory committees, one in 1993 and one in 2003. As a long-time board member of the Marin Conservation League, Mr. Roberts also has followed local water matters for many years. He also has a background in finance.

 

Committee members include: Tom Akin, Tiburon; Sid Baskin, San Rafael; Gordon Bennett, Point Reyes Station; Liza Crosse, Woodacre; Steve Endicott, Sleepy Hollow; James H. Gibbs, Sausalito; Diane Krantz, Mill Valley; Kiki LaPorta, Fairfax; Vern Doughty, City of San Rafael; Eddie Powell, San Rafael; Roger Peters, Mill Valley; Nancy Praetzel, Kentfield; Bill Scott, Novato; and Bill Upson, Tiburon.

 

The committee is expected to meet for a six- to eight-month period before making any recommendations to the MMWD board. In addition to working with the committee, MMWD plans to solicit input on potential changes in the rate structure from the community at large. The committee meetings are open to the public. The March 23 meeting begins at 7:00 pm.
 


MMWD HOLDING WATER RATE WORKSHOP ON APRIL 13

MMWD is holding a public workshop about MMWD's financial status and the need for a rate increase on April 13 at 7:00 pm for those customers who would like more detailed information about the proposed increase. The workshop provides an opportunity to ask questions in a less formal setting. Some of the information that will be presented at the workshop is already available on our website because it was presented at a water rate workshop in February. That workshop was held to accept public input on rates before the board took action.

 

Workshop topics include a review of the district's finances, what MMWD's major responsibilities are and what kind of funding they require, a brief history of water rates, a description of cost-cutting measures MMWD has taken in the last two fiscal years and a review of the various factors that are driving the rate increase proposal. To see the February workshop presentation, click here.

 
The April 13 workshop will be held in MMWD's Board Room, 220 Nellen Avenue, Corte Madera at 7:00 pm.

MORE FROM THE MMWD BLOG

Check out these recent blog posts:

  • MMWD will be participating in Marin Farm Day 2011. Read more
  • Think leaks don't happen in your home? Think again. Read more
  • Help keep brass caps where they belong. Read more

 


 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
We welcome your comments and need your help raising awareness about water in Marin.  Please share this information with your members and constituents. Thank you!

Libby Pischel, Public Information Officer
Marin Municipal Water District
lpischel@marinwater.org
(415) 945-1421