Residents bring new views
February 16, 2012
The county’s water users at Lake Tahoe have issued their report on their rates and have come up with some interesting ideas.
Cave Rock, Skyland and Zephyr Water users have been facing increasing rates ever since the county had to start treating the water they received from Lake Tahoe in the 1990s.
According to the water workgroup report issued last week, the systems have a combined obligation to pay $7.35 million for capital needs and to pay off their debts.
Unlike the Valley water systems, where monthly rates were an obstacle to consolidation, at Tahoe it’s the difference in debt between the systems. Residents are proposing the county uncouple the capital budgets from the operating costs of the water system.
Their solution is to have the county finance $4.9 million of the debt through a one time grant or assumption by the county.
We’re not sure how that will go over, and from the report neither were workgroup members so they offered some solutions, including disposing of some parcels at Tahoe that might provide funding.
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More important than the workgroup’s specific recommendations is the fact that its members came together for six months and generated real ideas for solving issues that have plagued the systems for two decades.
This process bringing residents together to solve problems works, and it’s one we’d like to see more of.
Now it’s up to the county to take the report and the ideas contained in it and put them to work.