On May 16, 2017, during the regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Shasta County Department of Public Works Director, Pat Minturn gave a presentation for the contemplation of a bi-monthly water rate increase for the County Service Area (CSA) #6—Jones Valley.
The director said that many considerations were taken to come up with the figures for rate increase. He said for the average user their bill would see a $56.79 bi-monthly increase and half of the users would see less than that. Minturn said the last rate increase was in 2011. Supervisor Leonard Moty asked what the current funds in the reserves are and Minturn said,” There are no reserves, CSA #6 is currently running in a negative of $1,000; and soon to be over $10,000 within a month.”
Minturn said that the Jones Valley residents were given a 45-day public notice period for the rate increase. During that time, District #3 Supervisor Mary Rickert said she tried to set meetings between the Jones Valley group and County Executive Officer Larry Lees to give them the opportunity to gather information in helping to form their own Community Services District (CSD), but said the group representatives cancelled the meeting. Property owners in attendance at the board meeting said the county has done little to help them. Rickert had been invited to a community forum in which she declined to attend.
Throughout the 45-day period, a letter that included a ballot was mailed to all Jones Valley CSA#6 property owner, in which ballot results were tabulated by county clerks during the meeting. In total, 439 ballots were counted aloud. The results after 69 votes were discarded in need to be revisited; 370 votes were counted towards protest of the rate increase, giving the Jones Valley group over the 358 minimum votes to make it a valid decision. Legal counsel told the Supervisors a ruling could not be made.
Since both the county and Jones Valley residents are at a standstill, Supervisor Les Baugh suggested to ask legal to help to develop an alternative community service district. Supervisor David Kehoe asked board members for a motion to have County Counsel Rubin E. Cruse, Jr. look into help make suggestions for the CSA #6 to develop a new entity. The motion passed unanimously.