Pro­vi­sions altered to re­flect re­quire­ments

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer

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.

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