James Hunter

Sunday, October 15, 2017

SJWC, SJW Land and SJW Corporation Land Sales, Who Benefits?

The major expansion by Adobe and very recently Google, both involve the purchase of downtown San Jose property originally owned by SJWC. We're slowly finding out that the property was transferred, from SJWC a regulated utility at very low prices, to SJWC Land an unregulated company. The sale of properties by SJWC Land provided no benefit for the customers of SJWC.

The Mercury had an article that the
The bill backed by Jim Beall (California State Senator)  allows the water company to retain possession of its water rights, a treatment plant and Lake Elsman. It was endorsed by the Bay Area Council, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Nature Conservancy, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the town of Los Gatos, and the cities of Saratoga, San Jose and Campbell.

The bill also requires that proceeds from any sale be invested by the water company in capital projects like upgrading pipelines to reduce costs on ratepayers. It also requires that any money from the sale that the water company has not spent within eight years must be allocated to ratepayers.
My concern is that there isn't specifically defined unbiased over-sight that has a seat at the negotiations, to represent the customer/ratepayers of San Jose Water Company. if this transaction is closed by the Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District. It might be worth noting that the bill explicitly excludes CPUC from participating, Hmm!

Since this transaction would likely be over $30 million or more it would be difficult to track and insure the proceeds are used to defray infrastructure costs that would effectively cause your water rates to increase.

What can you do:

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