City Wins Lawsuit on Water and Sewer Rates

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Final Ruling Validates Earlier Tentative Ruling

In March of 2013, the Yolo Ratepayers for Affordable Public Utility Services filed a complaint against the City challenging the city’s water and sewer rates. Today, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel Maguire issued a final determination holding that the City’s water and sewer rates meet the requirements of the California Constitution, commonly called Proposition 218, and are proportional and valid. This final ruling validates a tentative ruling issued in January of this year.

The City firmly believed the water and sewer rates were legally valid and the lawsuit was without merit. The Surface Water Project and the water rates were determined and approved by the citizen-based Water Advisory Committee. In addition, the citizens of Davis asked for a binding vote on the Surface Water Project. On March 5, 2013, Measure I was approved authorizing the City to move forward on the project. On March 26, 2013, the water rates were approved by the City Council after the legally required Proposition 218 process resulted in less than 11% of the ratepayers protesting.

Proportionality in rates has been upheld because the rates charge different amounts to different groups for valid reasons. The final ruling notes, “…the City has demonstrated a basis for its allocation of costs to the ratepayers.”

Mayor Joe Krovoza stated “Our City Council, acting on the dedicated work of our Water Advisory Committee, took great care to make sure our new rate structures would be in full compliance with the law. The court's decision affirms our careful work. This means our joint project with Woodland will proceed to bring Davis a clean, environmentally sound, and fiscally responsible long-term surface water supply.”

The water rates went into effect May 1, 2013.

For more information, please contact (530) 757-5602.

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