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AWA Planning to Raise Rates Despite Accounting Mess

The Amador Water Agency is getting ready to raise your water rates. At a time when people are still struggling to make ends meet, the directors think you should be paying more for water. Ratepayers do not have to accept the higher rates and can stop the rate increase by protesting it.

AWA says it needs more money to operate, but is it true? And how can we trust them when they can’t put together two financial reports in row that say the same thing? In March 2011, AWA brought their 12th attempt at the upcountry CAWP financial plan and rate study to the public. The public found over $2,000,000 in mistakes and oversights in the plan.

The public is continuing to find error after error in AWA financial reports. Only last week, the AWA board pulled the agency’s annual audit after citizens pointed out more than $600,000 in discrepancies between the audit and a report AWA issued only two months ago. A week earlier, two Jackson residents sued the AWA for inaccuracies in that two-month-old report and others related to ratepayer "participation fees." The residents allege that the reports have several additional mistakes.

Until the AWA is a fully functioning agency where the management is held accountable, they should not ask you to pay more for water. But they probably will. What can you do? Be prepared to protest the rate increase when it comes. And be ready to vote in new AWA directors in the election this fall.

Related Story: Lawsuit asks court to require AWA to fully and accurately account for fees collected from the public