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Vista Irrigation District Will Not Increase Water Charges In 2020 (August 6, 2020)

At its August 5, 2020 meeting, Vista Irrigation District’s Board of Directors voted not to increase its water service charge in 2020 in an effort to support its customers facing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our board is concerned about the financial impacts that our customers are facing,” said Vista Irrigation District (district) board president Richard Vásquez. “Prudent financial planning and budgeting has provided the district with the opportunity to not raise its rates in support of its customers during this challenging and uncertain time.”

In May, the board voted to delay implementation of the water service charge increase, scheduled to become effective July 1, 2020, to assess the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the district’s budget planning for fiscal year 2021, which covers July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. In preparing its budget, the district minimized increases in operating and capital expenses by decreasing controllable costs and delaying non-critical capital projects. These strategic actions taken by the board afforded it the opportunity to forgo the scheduled inflationary 2.35 percent adjustment to its water service charge in 2020.

As a governmental district, and unlike a public utility, the district does not make a profit or have shareholders, and all revenues go back into the water system.  Revenues derived from water rate adjustments do not exceed the cost of providing water service to customers, and the revenues are not utilized for any purpose other than financing the district’s operating and capital needs. The district will complete a cost of service study in 2021 to assess funding for its operational and capital project needs moving forward.

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