I imagine that all of you who are Burney Water District customers have received a letter from the Burney Water District and a form from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation regarding a survey to accurately determine the Median Household Income of BWD customers.
My wife Linda and I have filled ours out and sent it in. I encourage all other Burney Water District customers to do the same.
Presently, Burney is classified as a disadvantaged community because our median household income was determined by the 2010 census to be 63% of the state median household income.
The percentage determined by the 2010 census included Burney residents who are not Burney Water Board customers and therefore may not be accurate.
If an accurate survey of Burney Water District customers reveals that the median household income of the district is 60% or lower, then Burney will be reclassified as a severely disadvantaged community and will qualify for a higher rate of loan forgiveness.
Currently, as a disadvantaged community Burney Water District qualifies for 60-80% loan forgiveness.
If it is determined that the Burney Water District is severely disadvantaged, then it will qualify for 81-100% loan forgiveness.
The Burney Water Board has been preparing to repair and replace much of the old water and sewer infrastructure and to improve system and regulatory compliance. In order to do so, the district is applying for loans available through the Division of Financial Assistance of the State Water Resources Control Board.
The Burney Water District has authorized the RCAC to accurately determine the income level of the district. If it is determined that the district is severely disadvantaged and qualifies for a higher rate of loan forgiveness, it will help the district’s budget and may reduce the amount and frequency of future rate hikes.
This would be a big help for fixed income and low income residents, many of whom have been hard hit by rate hikes.
The Burney Water District Board is trying to do their best to provide clean water and healthy sewage disposal while at the same time keeping our rates as low as possible.
That’s why I’m recommending that all Burney Water District Customers fill out the survey.
Anyone with concerns or questions, please contact any of the following individuals for more information:
Wille Rodriguez, District Manager of the Burney Water District
Jean Thompson-Ibbeson, Rural Development Specialist, RCAC
Mehreen Siddiqui, EIT, Project Manager, State Water Resources Control Board-DFA