Provisions altered to reflect requirements
ROSAMOND — To comply with state law recently in effect, the Rosamond Community Services District has altered some of its provisions for dealing with shutting off water to customers who have not paid their water bills.
The changes reflect the requirements of Senate Bill 998, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2018. The District had a deadline of Feb. 1, to comply with the state law.
The Board approved the interim policy changes through a resolution during a special meeting on Jan. 27, on a 4-0 vote, with Director Rick Webb absent.
These interim policy changes reflect those ar
eas that are not in compliance with the new state law, while leaving the remainder intact.
A new ordinance will be drafted to codify the interim changes.
Under the new state law, water service may not be shut off for delinquent payment for at least 60 days and written notice of pending shut-off with specific information must be provided to customers no less than seven days prior to the shut-off.
Different options may be offered to aid customers in avoiding discontinuation of service, such as deferred or minimum payments, procedures for spreading out paying off the outstanding balance and means to appeal or petition for a review of the billing in question.
The policy changes include the process for appealing a disputed bill and the District may not shut off water service during the appeal process, according to the resolution.
An appeal may not be filed if an appeal of the same charges, rate or fee has been previously received and resolved.
The District may not discontinue water service for customers who meet certain medical, financial and alternative payment conditions and certain customers must have the ability to enter into alternative payment arrangements.
The number of water shut-offs must be reported annually to the state and posted on the District’s website.
The state law requires the District to provide written notices not only in English and Spanish, but also in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and any other language spoken by at least 10% of the people residing in the service area.