Property owners pass Assessment District with 72 percent approval
Following a 45-day voting period and a lengthy public hearing, Yucca Valley property owners delivered decisive support to secure funding to construct Phase 1 of the Sewer Project. After hours of tabulating the nearly 5,000 ballots received, Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD) announced that 72 percent of weighted votes supported the formation of an assessment district that will secure a one percent loan from the State and fund construction of the Sewer Project in Phase 1.
“This is an incredibly important day for the families and businesses in Yucca Valley,” said Bob Stadum, president of HDWD’s Board of Directors. “The community’s support will allow us to move forward with a project that protects local groundwater and provides a vital resource and service for future generations.”
On the ballot, which was delivered to all property owners by mail, voters were asked whether they approve or do not approve the formation of Assessment District 2014-1, and were also shown the maximum amount they could be assessed as their share of the project. This assessment, which would decrease if grants or other methods lower the project cost, will be paid on property tax bills over 30 years. Payments towards the assessment will begin one-year prior to the completion of construction which is scheduled to be in December 2017.
Per state law, voters had 45 days to cast their ballots, either mailing them to the district or delivering them in person. Ballots were weighted according to the dollar amount of each property’s assessment, giving each property owner a fair and proportional vote that reflected their share of the total assessment cost.
Ballots were accepted through the close of yesterday’s public hearing on the project, and were kept unopened in a locked vault at the District’s headquarters. Tabulation of the votes was conducted in public by an independent, third party consultant. The community was given hourly updates during the six-hour tabulation period.
Approval of the assessment district enables a one percent interest loan to be secured from the State Revolving Fund. This low interest loan will save property owners approximately $15 million dollars in finance costs.
“Our community has placed a tremendous amount of trust in us,” said Ed Muzik, general manager at HDWD. “We will continue to earn that trust as we build the best possible project for our customers at the lowest possible cost. This community deserves no less.”