Back in 1991, the Solvang City Council, without due diligence, shifted the water burden onto the backs of residential families. Not just all families, but only those with a dedicated water meter at their residence. Now, the rest, with one meter feeding multiple single-family units, apartments, mobile-home parks, and other multiple commercial units with one meter, got a major break as the virtual meter charge was dropped. In addition, Solvang residents pay $3 million a year for State Water which Department of Water Resources in its 2017 forecast for future years indicated a 25 percent delivery reliability. This is an effective cost of $6,400 per acre-foot. In comparison, our well water is about $150 per acre-foot.
The recent grand jury report indicates that cities and the county are heading for insolvency. The problem is the underfunded government retirement programs.
Both Solvang and Buellton have nearly the same population, but Buellton has 19 employees and Solvang has 38. Buellton was listed as low risk of insolvency by the Grand Jury. Solvang was listed as high risk. In addition, Solvang needs a new Sewer Treatment Plant and Storm Water Management Program that will come at a very significant cost.
Solvang deserves new faces on the City Council to direct our vision to fiscal responsibility. It’s time to elect leadership that will downsize city government and minimize the effects of new unfunded mandated laws at all levels.