EMWD’s Wine Country Sewer Special Benefit Area has 12% delinquency

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The Eastern Municipal Water District has a benefit assessment for sewer service in Temecula’s Wine Country, and approximately 12% of the 2019-2020 assessment amount is delinquent.

A report on the 2019-2020 assessment payments was included in the presentation during EMWD’s July 15 board meeting which included a 5-0 vote to adopt the 2020-2021 assessment.

EMWD authorized the formation of a special benefit area in the Wine Country area in November 2013 and also established a surcharge within the special benefit area to spread the cost of constructing sewer infrastructure among the area’s property owners. The financing program also allows for financial participation charges property owners pay to be connected to the sewer system.

The assessment covers 23 parcels and 28 separate payments. The total amount for 2019-2020 was $246,177.61. The payment is part of a landowner’s property tax bill, and the most recent property tax payments were due April 10. A late fee is assessed if payments are not received by April 10, and the property tax is considered delinquent if it is not received by June 30.

Eastern received $216,035 of the $246,177 assessed for 2019-2020, which equates to approximately 88% of the total assessment. The delinquent payments total $30,142.

EMWD staff believes that the delinquency rate is due to economic conditions caused by the coronavirus shutdown which has had severe impacts on the travel, dining and tourism industries. District staff members will work with the parcel owners on payment arrangement plans.

The total assessed amount for fiscal year 2020-2021 will be $246,177.50. Eastern’s June 17 board meeting included an infrastructure financing report on the benefit area. The total charge rounded to the nearest dollar will consist of $148,470 in surcharge payments and $97,708 in financial participation charge payments.

A legal notice of the July 15 hearing was published in the June 30 and July 7 editions of the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.