Oak Hill Cemetery facing steep water rate increase
In November 2017 Oak Hill Cemetery received a letter from Santa Ynez Water District ID1 informing us that they would no longer honor our ag water designation that had been grandfathered into the cemetery operation for nearly 100 years.
Effective Jan. 1, our water usage rate would be raised by 560 percent. Our meter charge would also go up from $289 to $797 per month. After meeting with the ID1 Water Board, it became clear that there would be no reconsideration or special exemption granted to the cemetery. (However, they did grant us a one month grace period to make the new rates effective in February).
Fortunately, in anticipation of the water rate increase, the Oak Hill Cemetery board of trustees voted to pursue the installation of a well. After careful planning and budgeting, we acquired the necessary county permits and began drilling in late January. After striking a good water deposit on Feb. 7, we are now waiting on PG&E for the electrical pump meter installation. Our January 2018 water bill was $946. Our February water bill went up to $5,213, even though we had substantially cut back our watering.
The cemetery cannot afford the cost of ID1 water, so we have shut down the irrigation system perhaps until May or June until the well is online. In the meantime, we ask for your patience and understanding.
The total cost for the well will probably exceed $100,000. A "Friends of Oak Hill Cemetery" nonprofit charity is being set up to help us through this difficult time. We ask for the community's support. Please contact Allan Jones at 805-688-5717, get information at the cemetery, or call us at 805-688-4035.
Oak Hill Cemetery
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