Laton Water Rate Increase Postponed

Jan. 06, 2009

Late last week, a Superior Court Judge granted our clients and the many Laton residents that they represent a preliminary injunction to suspend increased water rates pending at the very least a properly noticed public hearing on the matter. We challenged the water/sewer rate increase based on (1) the water district's failure to notify all water / sewer customers of a proposed water rate increase, (2) an inaccurate assessment of the amount of money that the district needs from user fees, and (3) unlawful assessment of fees that disproportionately burdens low income customers.

The judge has ordered a joint report outlining proper notice procedures and has called a status conference for later this month. The engineer who set the rates and notice procedures for Laton is the engineer for the majority of the water / sewer systems in the south san Joaquin valley so while this case only effects a few hundred residents, we hope that a settlement that demonstrates the importance of fair and just rates, as well as fair and just notice procedures will benefit many of the small communities of the central valley and the state.

Read the full article by By Pablo Lopez / The Fresno Bee here.

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