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FPUD, Rainbow boards begin LAFCO consolidation

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Issue 49, Volume 17.
Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent
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The functional consolidation between the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District may turn into an actual jurisdictional consolidation by the end of 2014.

The Rainbow board voted 5-0 Nov. 19 to direct common staff to draft an application to San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission for full consolidation, and FPUD’s board approved that action in a 3-0 vote with Milt Davies and Archie McPhee not present at a Nov. 20 special meeting.

Earlier this year FPUD and Rainbow formed the North County Joint Powers Authority to allow for functional consolidation. "They basically recognize the savings so far and understand the potential savings for the full consolidation," said Brian Brady, who is the executive officer of the joint powers authority and the general manager of both districts. "They think it’s prudent to further this LAFCO process."

The North County JPA voted 6-1 in favor of the proceedings Nov. 6 with Helene Brazier opposing the process rather than the consolidation itself. The next JPA meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4. "We will be working to develop as much of the application material before that meeting so they can review our progress at that point in time," Brady said.

"It will take several weeks," Brady said of developing the application. "There’s quite a lot of information that LAFCO is requesting."

FPUD and Rainbow both combined their November and December board meetings; Rainbow will not have a December meeting while FPUD’s regular meeting will be Dec. 10. The decision to apply to LAFCO for consolidation will likely be considered by the FPUD board Jan. 27 and the Rainbow board Jan. 28.

Both FPUD’s Jan. 27 meeting and Rainbow’s Jan. 28 meeting will allow for public comment, but Brady indicated that public feedback has been supportive to this point. "I would say for the most part public comments about the consolidation, the total consolidation, have been mostly positive," he said.

Brady added that some concerns were expressed from Rainbow customers who now must pay their bills at the FPUD office.

After LAFCO receives the application for consolidation, LAFCO staff will initiate a study process. "It will take a good portion of 2014," Brady said.

Although the LAFCO board would make a decision on the consolidation, a petition process exists to trigger a public protest vote if enough signatures are gathered. Should the process not be completed by the 2014 election, it is also possible that a new board could reverse the consolidation decision as was the case after the November 1990 Lakeside Fire Protection District election led to Lakeside’s reversal of a planned consolidation with the Alpine and Bostonia fire districts. "There are several things that could happen," Brady said.



Comment Profile ImageWT
Comment #1 | Thursday, Dec 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Would someone please explain to me why my FPUD bill has almost doubled since September?
Comment Profile ImageAvo Farmer
Comment #2 | Saturday, Dec 7, 2013 at 7:36 am
FPUD raised the water rates on July 1st. They did this despite the fact that FPUD's cost of water doesn't go up until January 1st. FPUD also doubled the capital improvement fee on your bill despite the fact they don't have any capital improvement projects for water. They are able to get away with this because the majority of the Board members that we elected allow it to happen.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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