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Setting the record straight Jaime Bonilla | Sat, Sep 17 2011 12:00 PM

As a valued customer, it is important that we take a moment to clarify important information regarding Otay Water District and your water rates.

Otay Water District is proud to provide its customers with a safe and reliable water supply with rates that are among the lowest in San Diego County.

The district has been able to achieve this goal because it constantly strives to be as efficient as possible, reducing costs, while at the same time planning for the water needs of the future. With an AA bond rating from the most trusted bond-rating agency in the world (Standard and Poor's), the district has been recognized for its "proactive management," "strong performance" and "solid finances going forward."

It is important to the district as well that its customers understand the recent change to its employee post-retirement healthcare program, because so much information has been reported inaccurately.

First, employees are paying for the new program and there will be no impact to your water rates as a result of this action. The district has every expectation that it will continue to provide water service at rates that are among the lowest in all of San Diego County.

You may be asking, "How will this employee healthcare program be paid for?"

The answer is simple: through employee negotiations, the district's employees have chosen to take money from their own pockets to pay for their pensions and for this healthcare program. While there is an initial first year cost, the program will save the district thousands of dollars every year starting in 2012.

Otay Water District takes seriously its unwavering commitment to the proactive stewardship of the water supply. This commitment spans not only our duty to provide a high quality, reliable supply of water to your homes and businesses, but also to do so in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

There are a number of resources available to the district's customers where you can find helpful information regarding your water.

You may visit our website at www.otaywater.gov or you may call us at (619) 670-2222 and a representative will be happy to speak with you directly.

Bonilla is president of Otay Water District board of directors.

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