Grand Jury: Nevada Irrigation District Water Rate Increases Could Have Been Avoided

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — Water rates are going up for people on parts of Nevada Placer and Yuba counties, a move that could have been avoided according to a new report.

Joni Holland of Paw Spa in Grass Valley uses a lot of water every day that her business depends on.

“It has hit us to where we try even harder not to use as much water,” she said.

Next door at Special FX Salon, employees also are trying to save water, and money.

Employee Kellee Pettee says the recent 6 percent rate hike approved by the Nevada Irrigation District board of directors will hit home as well.

The increase for the next five years could have been avoided, according to a grand jury report. It states the board of directors spent the last several years drawing on its cash reserves to keep customer rates steady, without a plan to have rates keep pace with demand.

According to that report, the NID’s reserves are now at dangerously low levels, and could be depleted by 2020. That would leave NID unable to respond to an unexpected event.

CBS13 tried speaking with NID, but we were told nobody was available to speak with us on Thursday.

Meanwhile, small-business owners like Holland have plenty to say.

“Any increase makes you angry, and a little at a time is OK,” she said, “but when they come and hit you up with a big one all at once, it’s very difficult to overcome that.”


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