STOPPING MMWD'S RATE/FEE GRAB REQUIRES YOUR PROTEST
MMWD counts your silence as approval of their proposed, unfair new capital maintenance fee and rate hike.
1. Send in a protest immediately. Must be received by May 28. Click here for a Protest form.
2. It's essential for upset MMWD customers to turn out at the Rate Hearing. Be seen. Be heard. Be counted. 7:30PM, Tuesday May 28th, MMWD HQ, 220 Nellen Ave, Corte Madera. If you don't attend, don't whine when you get the bill!
INCREASE IN MARIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT FEES WILL AFFECT YOU!!
Marin Municipal Water District's proposed rate and fee hike may cost you a lot more than your realize. In addition to many editorials, letters, and a Spotswood op/ed about MMWD's flawed proposal and process, there's some very important information posted on NextDoor, alerting community members that the financial hit to them could be FAR BIGGER than realized. Many thousands of dollars. Keep reading! It's all here!
INCREASE IN MARIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT FEES MAY COST YOU WAY MORE THAN YOU THINK!
A Scott Highlands resident posted on NextDoor: "Marin Municipal Water District is proposing a SIGNIFICANT (for us- 225%) increase in BIMONTHLY fees to single family residences who have 1-1/2" sized water meter. They mention that 74% of their customers have 5/8" meters but they do not mention that many residences will be forced to upgrade their meters to 1-1/2" (like we were) if you have a remodel or construction project. We were forced to put in a 1-1/2" meter- NOT because we use more water - but because of the required indoor sprinkler system per the fire code. In fact- we are using far less water than a normal household because we needed to comply with all the latest Cal Green requirements and very strict building codes for plumbing, landscaping etc.
Many of us may have to (or want to) upgrade our meters in the near future to install indoor sprinkler or have better access to water (like a nearby fire hydrant) for fire safety.
INCREASING YOUR WATER METER OFTEN DOES NOT MEAN YOU USE MORE WATER- YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE MORE COMPLIANT WITH FIRE SAFETY CODES.
It is COMPLETELY UNFAIR to place the burden of increased water rates on those of us who were forced to /or voluntarily put in 1-1/2" meters for fire safety. Their handout shows our BIMONTHLY service charge increasing from $39.66 per month to $128.27. per month. That is a 225% INCREASE FROM THE CHARGES WE WERE PREVIOUSLY PAYING WITH OUR OLD METER.
I have NO PROBLEM paying an increased rate for water and I have NO PROBLEM being more prepared to fires BUT MMWD is putting all the pressure on those of us who have 1.5" meters. Their letter is deceptive for those who don't know the building codes because they are not mentioning that many folks will need to increase meter size in the near future. Also note that new insurance policies may REQUIRE you to upsize your water meter and have indoor sprinkler systems in order for your house to be insured- especially if you are in the WUI (wilderness urban interface) and almost all of MV is in that zone. So you may very well need a 1-1/2" meter in the near future. IF you are interested in protesting the way these rate increases are occurring- please let me know.
These charges affect everyone - dramatically. Their method of charging should have ample feedback from the public and should be discussed thoroughly before implementation. I will put put together a letter of protest to send to MMWD and I will forward it to residents in a subsequent post. Or, send me your email and I will send it directly to you. Please spread the word to other neighborhoods."
In response to the above Mill Valley post from Katzman, THE FOLLOWING WAS POSTED ON NEXTDOOR BY A CORTE MADERA RESIDENT:
"Placed another call to engineering at MMWD, as I was was advised by staff at the Marin Municipal Water District workshop at the Mill Valley Community Center a few weeks ago. Have found that I have a 5/8" meter, like many other customers in Marin. My address is on the west side of Magnolia, placing me in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). MMWD can't tell me if I'm going to be required to upgrade to a very expensive new 1 1/2" meter, and PAY the $16,000 street repaving fee that is stated on their website for meter replacement.
I've left a message at MMWD to find out if the street paving is necessary for a meter upgrade. My street will be re-paved in July. After the street is re-paved, to have the pavement restored, it will be extremely expensive. To me, it seems that no matter what we do to be in compliance, we will get charged to the extreme.
The potential charges for a new meter are extreme, even without a remodel, even without the requirement to put in interior fire sprinklers. All of this is more than I can afford. If forced to put in a new larger meter because I live in the WUI, with the $16,000 street re-paving fee, the increased yearly costs for the new meter, the increased monthly fee for water connection, I will be forced to leave my home that I've lived in since 1985.
I simply can't afford to live here with these huge increases in infrastructure. I just paid $10,000 for new sewer laterals prior to the re-paving of my street. Cost would have doubled, if I had waited until after the street was re-paved. These fees by MMWD and Ross Valley Sanitary District are removing the ability of long-time residents to stay in our homes. Marin long-time residents need to wake up to the actual costs that are being proposed. Let the ultra rich come and scrape down our homes and build their mega mansions."
THEN THIS HAPPENED - We found on the MMWD website confirmation that an application to install a larger meter must be accompanied by a $16,000 repaving deposit, plus other fees (including a large charge for the bigger meter). Lots of people will be required to install sprinklers b/c of WUI, building code (remodels), state law, fire insurers, fire departments.
This entails the cost of the sprinklers and permits, PLUS several thousand dollars for a larger MMWD meter, PLUS $16,000 repaving deposit to MMWD. Fire suppression systems are important to our community. But MMWD has entirely failed to warn ratepayers that they may be required to pay a much bigger capital maintenance fee (and related installation / paving costs) owing to requirements for more residents to install sprinklers.