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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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Local

City of Perris
Measure H - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

1,326 votes yes (63.29%)

769 votes no (36.71%)

100% of precincts reporting (14/14).

2,095 ballots counted.

Shall the resolution known as the SALE OF THE CITY OLF PERRIS NORTH PERRIS WATER SYSTEM AND DOWNTOWN PERRIS WATER SYSTEM, which will authorize the City of Perris to sell the North Perris Water System and Downtown Water System to Liberty Utilities to retire Water System debt and use the remaining proceeds for park amenities, including athletic fields, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Perris City Attorney

The City of Perris owns two municipal water systems. The “Downtown Water System” is located in the City’s Downtown area and provides service to approximately 2,366 connections. The “North Perris Water System” is located in the North Perris area and provides services to approximately 1,357 connections in the Villages of Avalon. (Note: This analysis assumes the transfer of the North Perris Water System from the Perris Public Utilities Authority to the City will occur prior to the election.)

Measure H asks the City’s voters to decide whether to authorize the sale of the City’s water systems to Liberty Utilities (“Liberty”).

Pursuant to the California Public Utilities Code, the City issued a request for proposals soliciting proposals from interested public utilities to purchase the water systems. After conducting a noticed public hearing and evaluating the proposals received, the City Council found that Liberty is the best qualified public utility to continue providing equal or better service to the customers of the systems. Liberty proposes to purchase the systems for $11,500,000. The City Council selected Liberty as the proposed buyer and placed Measure H on the ballot at the Special Municipal Election to be held on November 7, 2017.

As reported in the written and oral staff reports at the public hearing, the water systems are currently in debt and have experienced annual operating deficits. The General Fund pays for these deficits, which means there is less money in the General Fund for public services benefiting all City residents. If Measure H does not pass, the City will retain the water systems and the annual deficits are expected to continue, adding to the debt and requiring further General Fund contributions.

Liberty provides water service to 12 incorporated cities in California and to unincorporated areas in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) regulates Liberty, and the water rates charged by Liberty must be approved by the CPUC. The proposed purchase agreement will limit annual water rate increases for 10 years. Annual increases are limited to annual increases in Eastern Municipal Water District rates or 3.3%, whichever is higher, with some exceptions for water supply changes or catastrophic events.

A YES vote means the City can move forward with an agreement to sell the water systems to Liberty. If the sale is completed the City will receive approximately $11,500,000. As stated in the ballot measure, these funds will be used to retire debt related to the water systems and then for park amenities, including athletic fields.

A NO vote means the City cannot move forward with an agreement. The City would retain ownership of the water systems, including the responsibility to fund operating costs and future capital improvements, maintenance and repairs.

If a majority of voters voting in the election vote YES, Measure H will pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Perris is a great place to live and work. Families thrive in our innovative and inclusive community. City leaders are connected with residents and focused on delivering public services efficiently and effectively.

Measure H Is good for Perris. After careful consideration, the City Council placed Measure H on the ballot to seek voter approval to sell the North Perris Water System and Downtown Water System. Currently, the City General Fund is subsidizing water service in these areas which could impact other vital public services across the community.

Putting taxpayer funds to work for the community: The money from the sale will be used to retire taxpayer debt and to fund parks and athletic fields. Passing Measure H brings millions to the City which will be reinvested for the public good.

Quality reliable water service: Measure H completes a competitive bidding process designed to identify a partner who would work with the City to provide quality service, maintain the water system and provide reasonable rates. Liberty Utilities has a national track record of quality, financial stability and working with the community they serve.

Capped water rates: The City and Liberty agreed to a contract that caps water rates for a decade. Rates will be similar with neighboring providers and future increases are limited. Residents benefit from a state-regulated Class A water provider that is held to the highest standards of performance.

A Yes Vote benefits the residents of Perris. Protecting taxpayer funds and providing quality public services is a top priority. Measure H will protect residents, provide water stability and ensure Perris has the best possible parks and athletic fields for families, kids and the community.

 

Please vote Yes on Measure H to ensure quality water service and protect taxpayers. Visit CityOfPerris.org to learn more.

Michael M. Vargas, Mayor

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