Monterey Peninsula water district loses key lawsuit
Legal challenges to a Monterey Peninsula water district’s ratepayer fee that dates back a least a decade reached fruition this week when a judge ruled against the district and ordered it to stop collecting the fee. The ruling could have a huge impact on district revenues at a time when the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is partnering with Monterey One Water to invest in the Pure Water Monterey expansion project, which the district says could supply enough water to the Monterey Peninsula for the next few decades. At issue are two fees. The first is a “user fee” that was collected as a pass-through charge on California American Water Company’s bills. But state regulators in 2011 ordered a halt to it, so the district created another fee called a “water supply fee” that was collected through property taxes.