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Ratepayers To Confront GSWC

Imagine turning on a water faucet only to find that there is no water flowing out. In this day and age it is easy for most people to take the things we need to survive for granted. People need water to survive. Does that mean that those who are in control of vital resources such as water can charge whatever exorbitant amounts they want, knowing that the people will pay?
Golden State Water Company (GSWC) is putting that theory to a test with proposed rate increases for the Ojai Customer Service Area that will total almost 45 percent by 2012. In a statement in their public participation hearing notification, GSWC claims that the new rates will cover increasing costs to operate and maintain the local water system, and fund capital investments critical to providing reliable, high-quality water to the area.
Some local experts aren’t so sure about Golden State’s agenda. “The problem with GSWC, is they put in these old pipe lines about 75 years ago, and they’re wearing out,” said valley resident Jim Coultas, former longtime Casitas Municipal Water District board member and agricultural rancher. “They continue raising their rates year after year, but they spend the money on something else and never do the things they say they will.”
Over the years, according to Coultas, local ranchers have had to use heavy equipment to dig up and repair the failing infrastructure that GSWC claims to be putting funding into. “These guys that rely on GSWC are constantly having to get the backhoe out and repair these pipes,” said Coultas, who has been an Ojai Valley resident for more than 60 years.
GSWC district manager Ken Petersen countered in

By Logan Hall

Imagine turning on a water faucet only to find that there is no water flowing out. In this day and age it is easy for most people to take the things we need to survive for granted. People need water to survive. Does that mean that those who are in control of vital resources such as water can charge whatever exorbitant amounts they want, knowing that the people will pay? Golden State Water Company (GSWC) is putting that theory to a test with proposed rate increases for the Ojai Customer Service Area that will total almost 45 percent

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