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The City of Riverside is committed to taking actions to help our city become clean, green, and more sustainable, and your widespread support and actions help make a difference.
A Flex Alert is typically issued in the summer when extremely hot weather pushes up electricity demand. A Flex Alert is a call for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when there is a predicted shortage of energy supply, especially if the grid operator needs to dip into reserves to cover demand. When consumers reduce electricity use at critical times, it can prevent more dire emergency measures, including possible power outages.
There’s an easy way for you to save time, paper, postage, and help reduce the environmental footprint in the City of Riverside – simply choose to Go Paperless with your Riverside Public Utilities bill. Get notified about your new bills via email and securely view/pay your bill anytime and anywhere.
Mylar balloons are the metallic shiny, silver-like balloons which cause thousands of power outages each year when they float away and come into contact with power lines.
Elizabeth Sanchez-Monville named Chairperson, four new members added
New program allows businesses hurt by COVID-19 to apply their deposits to their account balance
The Small Business Deposit Credit Program is designed to assist and provide relief to the local small business community adversely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Mylar balloons are the metallic shiny, silver-like balloons which cause thousands of power outages each year when they float away and come into contact with power lines.
Although these balloons are fun and festive, especially for celebrations, it is extremely important to handle these balloons properly and ensure they do not get released into the air. If loose balloons come into contact with power lines, they can cause explosions, power outages, downed power lines, and much more that can result in extremely dangerous risks to public safety.
If you spot any mylar balloons tangled in a power line or tree, call RPU at (951) 782-0330. Please provide us the specific location.
COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Assistance Program approved by City Council May 5
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Residential electrical customers of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) who meet specific criteria are eligible for a one-time bill credit of $250 after the City Council approved a new $5 million program on May 5.
The COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Assistance Program (ERAP) is designed to help RPU electric customers who have lost their jobs, been furloughed or are facing a reduction of their income due to reduced work hours due to the Stay at Home orders put in place to fight the pandemic. Electric customers that already were participating in the SHARE assistance program and lost their jobs or have had income reduced due to the emergency also qualify and are eligible to receive the ERAP bill credit.
“Riverside is blessed to have its own utility, which provides us with the ability to provide this kind of custom program for our customers in an emergency,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “I’m proud to see RPU step up with another way to help our residents in such a challenging time.”
The decision recognizes the unprecedented impacts being felt throughout the national and local economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of residents are unemployed or furloughed due to temporary business closures, while other businesses are open but struggling financially.
The program is being fully developed following recent City Council approval. Interested parties should check for updates at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/Assistance.
The City Council previously directed Riverside Public Utilities to suspend shut-offs for nonpayment of water, electric, sewer and refuse utility services. That order from March 17 remains in effect, ensuring that all customers continue to have access to necessary utility services regardless of the financial hardships faced due to the loss of household income. While shut-offs will not take place throughout the duration of the local emergency, customers will still be responsible for their bill.
The new program utilizes a bill credit because RPU cannot legally forgive a bill. The utility also offers customized repayment plans for bills that will accrue during the crisis.
Eligibility for the program is retroactive to March 1 and extends to three months following the end of the emergency declaration. The initial program will provide a $250 credit for 20,000 residential customers -- about 20% of RPU’s residential customers – at a cost $5 million.
“This is money well spent because it provides some reassurance to residents who are struggling at this difficult time,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “I am thankful we have a local utility that understands our community’s needs and it able to respond in this manner.”
The effort is one of many made by the city-owned utility during the past 30 years. For example, RPU established its first low-income assistance program, the Sharing Households Assist Riverside’s Energy (SHARE) Program, in 1989 to provide low-income residents with utility bill assistance.
To learn more about RPU assistance programs, visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com/assistance.
For the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 -- www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19
Amongst the growing concerns over COVID-19 Coronavirus, we want to reassure our customers that your tap water is safe and can continue to be used as usual for drinking and other purposes. Riverside Public Utilities water treatment and delivery systems are fully functioning to provide the most high-quality, safe and reliable drinking water to our customers. We perform more than 22,000 water quality tests from well to tap each year, ensuring our customers receive water that meets or surpasses all state and federal regulations for drinking water quality. COVID-19 Coronavirus has ¬not been detected in drinking water supplies and there is currently no evidence to support that it is transmitted through drinking water.
Riverside Public Utilities is focused on providing continuous service and we encourage our customers to stay alert in order to remain healthy. See below Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 and Our Water Supply.
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in RPU’s treated drinking-water supplies. Our water supply comes from the ground, which naturally filters and protects the water. Additionally, our water system maintains a high level of disinfection as it removes pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. Our water is tested dozens of times each day and thousands of times each year to ensure our system’s cleanliness and level of treatment meets the strict federal and state drinking water standards and regulations.
Although people are purchasing bottled water as a precautionary measure for emergency preparedness, tap water can continue to be used as usual for drinking and other purposes. RPU’s water treatment and delivery systems are fully functioning to provide reliable and safe drinking water to our customers.
RPU is committed to providing reliable, high-quality and safe drinking water to our customers. We have continuity plans set in order to continue to perform all utility operations during a major incident.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
RPU’s Water Quality
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside took a major step forward today in a decades-long effort to reduce the possibility of a major power outage within the city when the California Public Utilities Commission approved an application from Southern California Edison (SCE) to construct a transmission line that would provide Riverside with a second connection to the statewide power grid.
The Commission voted unanimously to approve a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to allow SCE to build the Riverside Transmission Reliability Project, or RTRP. Riverside asked SCE, its bulk power provider, for a second connection to the grid in 2004, and the two entities have been working toward obtaining approval for the project ever since.
“This decision is the result of years of work to protect Riverside residents and business owners from the impacts of a serious blackout,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This is a watershed moment for Riverside and for the region, since our city is home to hospitals, colleges and universities, and the emergency management infrastructure that serves western Riverside County.”
Riverside is the only city of its size in Southern California to have only one connection of this type to the statewide grid. This leaves Riverside subject to a significant power outage like the one that left most of the city without power for several hours in 2007.
Riverside Public Utilities has documented the need for a second connection since at least 1966 and previously sought to advance such a project. The current project schedule calls for RTRP to be built and providing power to Riverside by 2026.
In the meantime, Riverside has built hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of local, natural gas-fueled power projects to temporarily fill the gap between the power the city needs during the hot summer months and what is available from SCE’s existing Vista substation. But those locally-owned projects do not provide enough reliable power to replace the need for RTRP.
Once RTRP is functioning and providing a second source of reliable power, Riverside will not need to operate those natural gas-fueled power projects as much. One of the projects will be retired and control of the other will be turned over the California Independent System Operator, which operates the statewide grid and will be able to use the remaining Riverside facility to facilitate the integration of renewable resources across the state. RTRP also will allow Riverside to more effectively meet its state-mandated renewable energy requirements.
“Riverside Public Utilities takes pride in providing safe and reliable water and power to its customers,” RPU General Manager Todd Corbin said. “In approving the RTRP, the utilities commission validated the years of hard work that have gone into this project.”
The Riverside City Council certified an environmental impact report on the project in 2013 that determined how the project will be built. That approval came after an extensive public outreach campaign that included community meetings. That environmental report also ruled out options such as rooftop solar, large-scale solar projects within Riverside, and battery storage, which are incapable of providing the amount of reliable power Riverside needs.
As a result of litigation with property owners in neighboring Jurupa Valley, SCE revised its application to the utilities commission in 2016 to place underground about half of the project in Jurupa Valley.
The CPUC today approved a version of the project that includes that undergrounding and also allows for incremental portions of the project to be underground in Jurupa Valley if SCE is granted a superior easement for the underground construction in Jurupa Valley. If the superior easement is not granted, SCE can proceed with building the project with about half of it above ground in Jurupa Valley.
SCE has estimated that the Hybrid Route (where only a portion of the project in Jurupa Valley is undergrounded) would cost $408 million. The investor-owned utility has estimated that the Alternative Route (where there is additional incremental undergrounding of the project route in Jurupa Valley) would cost $521 million.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside, a recognized national leader in solar energy, has forged a groundbreaking, 15-year partnership with Camino Solar, LLC to provide renewable, sustainable, storable, affordable energy from a 44 MW photovoltaic facility and an 11MW battery energy storage system.
The Camino Solar plus Battery Energy Storage Project will generate approximately 147,000 Megawatt/hours (MWh) per year of renewable energy. The 11 MW battery installation will enable Riverside to store excess energy that the system produces during the day for use during the evening hours when market prices are higher, thus reducing Riverside’s costs. Energy storage also will help reduce the impacts of overproduction of electricity on the grid.
“This project is great for both ratepayers and the environment,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Our commitment to sustainability in Riverside remains strong.”
The Riverside City Council on Tuesday (12/17) unanimously approved the power purchase agreement with Camino Solar, LLC to begin receiving renewable solar photovoltaic energy, battery energy storage, associated environmental attributes, and capacity rights for a term of 15 years, beginning in May 2022.
The City of Riverside, through its publicly-owned utility, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), has aggressively met the renewable targets set by the state and is committed to serving its retail energy requirement using more renewable energy.
In order to satisfy the current targets and in anticipation of more stringent requirements in the future, RPU continues to explore additional cost-effective, sustainable, renewable energy procurement opportunities.
“RPU is very pleased to move forward with this new Camino Solar plus Battery Storage Project,” said RPU Power Resources Manager Scott Lesch. “Once online, the generation energy will supply 6% of Riverside’s retail load and allow the City to reach a 50% RPS level. And the pricing is very attractive, which helps keep the utility’s power supply costs down”.
Since 2012, the RPU Board of Public Utilities and the Riverside City Council have approved more than 230 MW of renewable resource contracts/extensions. Riverside is currently contracted for 86 MW of clean geothermal energy, 46 MW of wind, and over 100 MW of solar.
Per the 2018 Power Content Label, the City currently serves 34% of its power mix with renewable resources and will be on schedule to reach 44% by 2020. Riverside’s partnership with Camino Solar, LLC is a huge step toward its commitment to a low carbon energy future.
Winners are students at Woodcrest Christian High School
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) honored multiple students from Woodcrest Christian High School on Monday (10/28) evening as winners of the Annual Bottled Water Label Art Contest, and also recognized their teacher.
The Board of Public Utilities recognized senior Madeleine Chaffin and juniors Ella Whitehouse, Elyssa Smith, and Klaudia Blaszczyk, and their teacher, Ms. Rhonda Thomale. The students received $250, copies of their winning label, a certificate, and two cases of water featuring their label.
Ms. Thomale, their teacher, received a $50 gift certificate from an art supply store per student.
"RPU is excited to honor these talented students and their teacher," said Board of Public Utilities Chair Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra. "We have been recognizing aspiring artists this way since 1999, so the impact on our young people has been substantial."
Held in conjunction with RPU’s annual "Splash Into Cash" fundraising and support opportunity for middle and high schools in Riverside, the contest gives high school art students a chance to create their first piece of commercial artwork. The artwork adorns bottled water given out to the schools, which use the donated water to support volunteers or activities groups, or to raise funds for sports teams, uniforms and more.
The contest is open to all public and private high school students in the City of Riverside. To date, the Utility has expended more than $370,000 in program costs and has given out almost 600,000 bottles of water to City schools.
"As a local municipal utility, RPU is deeply involved in the community,” General Manager Todd Corbin said. "This program benefits talented local students and is just one of many ways that Riverside residents and business owners see a return on their investment in their local utility."
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected 21 leaders to participate in its 2019 Executive Energy Leadership program (Energy Execs), which provides non-technical business, governmental, and community leaders an opportunity to learn about advanced energy technologies, analytical tools, and financing to guide their organizations and communities in energy-related decisions and planning.
Since 2001, Riverside Public Utilities’ School Education Program has provided a unique, hands-on experience for children in the elementary grades. The program serves more than 45 public elementary schools and 30 private schools in Riverside’s service area. The state mandated charges collected on your utility bill pay for the programs designed to align with next generation state curriculum standards, while promoting both energy and water conservation and the science behind it.
Inland utilities veteran brings 26 years of experience to new job
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Todd Corbin, who has spent the past six years as General Manager of the Jurupa Community Services District, has been named General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU). His appointment by City Manager Al Zelinka was approved by the Board of Public Utilities on Nov. 5.
Corbin has worked in the utilities industry most of his nearly 30-year career. Starting in 1992, he held the position of Finance Officer at Rowland Water District in Rowland Heights in Los Angeles County. He served as Assistant General Manager of the Cucamonga Valley Water District in Rancho Cucamonga from 1999 to 2012 before joining Jurupa Community Services District as General Manager. His first day at RPU will be Nov. 30.
"Riverside Public Utilities has a rich history and an outstanding reputation in the utilities industry, and I am honored to be selected to lead this organization," Corbin said. "I am excited about the opportunity to work with the City’s executive leadership team, the Board of Public Utilities and the City Council to continue to provide Riverside residents and businesses with high-quality and affordable water and power."
As the head of Jurupa Community Services District, Corbin has overseen an organization of 225 employees who provide water and sewer, parks and recreation, and streetlight services to the communities of Jurupa Valley and Eastvale. His employees operate the Chino Basin Desalter and Concentrate Reduction Facility, the largest of its kind in the country.
During his 13-year term at Cucamonga Valley Water District, Corbin also served as Project Manager for the Frontier Project Foundation, the non-profit foundation of the Cucamonga Valley Water District, which promotes environmental sustainability. In that role, he managed the construction and operation of a $20 million LEED Platinum facility that was one of the most sustainable buildings in the state.
"Todd Corbin understands how our infrastructure and utilities – water, power, refuse, storm drainage and wastewater – can all work together to make RPU and the City more efficient and resilient," City Manager Al Zelinka said. "I look forward to working with him as we continue a tradition of excellence at RPU while finding new ways to integrate the water and power function of RPU with our other city-run utilities and infrastructure."
Corbin replaces former general manager Girish Balachandran, who took the position of Chief Executive Officer at Silicon Valley Clean Energy in Northern California earlier this year.
"Riverside Public Utilities has benefitted from outstanding leadership throughout its history," said Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra, Chair of the Board of Public Utilities. “The Board looks forward to Todd Corbin continuing that tradition."
Winners are students at Norte Vista and Woodcrest Christian high schools
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) honored students from Norte Vista High School and Woodcrest Christian High School as winners of the Annual Bottled Water Label Art Contest this week and also honored their teachers.
Jasmine Zamora and Jazlyn Sanchez from Norte Vista, and Audrey Alexander and Madeleine Chaffin from Woodcrest Christian each received a $250 scholarship and an enlargement of the artwork they submitted as part of the contest. The students were recognized at a recent Board of Public Utilities meeting, along with teachers Carole Coffman of Norte Vista and Rhonda Thomale of Woodcrest Christian, who received gift certificates to a local art supply store.
Held in conjunction with RPU’s annual “Splash Into Cash” fundraising and support opportunity for middle and high schools in Riverside, high school art students get a chance to create their first piece of commercial artwork, which adorns bottled water given out to the schools. Schools use the donated water to support volunteers or activities groups, or to raise funds for sports teams, uniforms and more.
RPU has recognized 46 aspiring artists through the art contest since 1999. This year’s winning entries, as well winning label artwork from the past years, can be viewed online at: https://www.riversideca.gov/utilities/about-rpu/community-services.asp
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A group of 70 Riverside high school students recently participated in several days of intensive, hands-on training with the Riverside Public Utilities Department to learn about potential careers in the utilities industry.
The week, facilitated by the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP), provided students with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training through experiential learning and gave them the opportunity to apply those skills in the Riverside Public Utilities Learning Lab (PULL).
"When the students got up and presented their projects, I was floored with how knowledgeable they were in such a short period of time and the amount of effort and out-of-the-box thinking the projects entailed," said Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra, Chair of the Board of Public Utilities. "Their parents were in the audience, and they’re learning not only about RPU, but also infrastructure needs through the eyes of their children. It really shows the value of a public utility to the community."
Employees of the various divisions of Riverside Public Utilities provided the curriculum for STEM PULL, which included: Lineman Demonstrations with bucket trucks and equipment; the role STEM plays in the utility industry; field trips to the Riverside Energy Resource Center (RERC), Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Customer Service Locations; Team Skills Development; 3D Computer Design and Printing; Laser Cutting and Engraving; Welding and Woodworking; Electronics and Soldering; Engineering and Water Reuse Processes and Water Quality Testing; Brick Pi Robots; Advanced Utility Technologies; IT: Cyber Security; Public Benefits, Community Engagement and Crisis Communication Workshops.
At the end of the week, students developed and presented their innovative STEM PULL projects during the design challenge competition. Riverside Public Utilities Board members attended the presentations and judging.
"The students did a great job, and I want to applaud the students and RPU and the City for supporting the program and education," Utilities Board Member Gil Oceguera said.
Twelve teams of 4-5 students presented their concepts to a panel of judges. The top three teams won scholarships of $1000, $750 and $500. Even more valuable however, they are able to participate in a year-long mentorship opportunity with Gordon Bourns, Bourns, Inc. and graduate students from both the UCR and CBU Bourn’s College of Engineering.
Through this mentorship, students will have the opportunity to continue to work on their projects, further refining their ideas. At the end of the mentorship, some teams may even be on their way to having a marketable project and/or a patent on their idea. Students in the mentorship will also have many opportunities to participate in community activities, such as presenting at a City Council meeting or other events.
The top three teams from the first year of STEM PULL included:
1st place – For their project "Line Down", an app that would detect problems with utility poles and utilize GIS technology to locate the exact location of the faulty poles.
Samuel Green – Martin Luther King High School
Jordan Whiting – Martin Luther King High School
Brett Hile – Martin Luther King High School
Leonardo Acosta – STEM Academy High School
2nd place – For their project "Leak Master," a sensor that would be placed on all new pipes as they are installed, which would notify RPU of pipe leaks that are too small to be detected from above ground
Isaac Garcia – Woodcrest Christian High School
Caleb VanHaster Woodcrest Christian High School
Iliana Lazaro – Arlington High School
Leslie Zamora – Arlington High School
Jose Ibarra – Arlington High School
3rd place – For their project P.A.T. (Public Alert technology), a sensor that would be used with GIS technology to immediately identify and specifically locate outages and problems in transmission lines
Molly Dewitt– Arlington High School
Shevani Patel – Arlington High School
Shahnawaz Lateef – La Sierra High School
David Polach – La Sierra High School
Angela Figueroa – La Sierra High School
President Harry S. Truman was finishing his first term when Magnolia Substation came to life
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities, which has been delivering water and power to the city for more than a century, recently shut down its oldest electric substation, ending the service of an aging facility that came to life shortly after World War II.
The Magnolia Substation, wedged between the Central Avenue off-ramp of the eastbound Highway 91 and the nearby railroad tracks to the east, was the oldest substation in the RPU grid, providing power to RPU customers for 69 years.
"It’s a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of RPU employees that this piece of electrical infrastructure was able to provide reliable power to about 1,000 Riverside residents for so many decades," said Board of Public Utilities Chair Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra. "That longevity also says a lot about how much emphasis RPU puts into maintaining its equipment."
The substation was placed into service in November, 1949, just as President Harry S. Truman was completing his first term. It pre-dated the Riverside Freeway (State Route 91) by about 15 years.
The Magnolia substation property will be cleared of all above-grade equipment and structures, and most of the underground sub-structures. Customers served by the now-closed substation now receive power through the new transformer bank at the Plaza Substation, near Elizabeth Street and Magnolia Avenue, which was brought into service in August, 2016.
This new transformer provides more reliable service and increased electric capacity to meet the demand from RPU customers. The increased capacity will assist in managing the energy needs of electric vehicles and other technologies.
"The utility industry is always growing and changing, and RPU works hard to stay abreast of those changes with new infrastructure and strong customer service," Interim General Manager Todd Jorgenson said. "Ratepayers can rest assured, knowing their water and power needs are being met, now and in the future."
For information on this and other electric and water utility projects, visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com/projects.
Programs can help residents and businesses save hundreds of dollars each year.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside residents and business owners can take advantage of eight energy-efficiency programs that help reduce power usage and cut hundreds of dollars off utility bills each year.
The City Council recently approved the programs tailored to meet the specific needs of commercial and residential customers. The programs, funded through the state-mandated public benefits charge, help Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) customers lower their utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"These programs demonstrate RPU’s commitment to helping its customers be as energy efficient as possible," Mayor Rusty Bailey said. "Improving energy efficiency is an effective method to minimize the impacts of recently-approved utility rate increases."
The Small Business Direct Installation Program is designed for small business owners and operators who are interested in energy efficiency, but do not know where to begin. Customers who participate in this program receive up to $2,000 worth of energy efficiency improvements for their business, through a city-approved vendor, at no cost. The estimated average savings could be as much as $300 per year.
The approval from City Council also allows RPU to continue to offer the Multifamily Direct Installation Program to customers who live in apartment and mobile home communities. Customers will receive as much as $1,000 worth of energy efficiency upgrades, such as air conditioning tune-ups and LED lighting, for their homes by an RPU-approved contractor at no cost. The estimated average savings could be as much as $150 per year.
"Having a locally-owned utility is one of the great advantages of locating a business in Riverside," Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. "Our rates are lower than in surrounding communities, and RPU’s account representatives know the challenges facing our business community, so they are able to tailor programs to help our businesses retain a competitive edge in the marketplace."
RPU will begin offering a new direct installation program for medium and large utility customers who have substantial outdoor lighting at their locations. The newly-approved Business Outdoor Lighting Direct Installation Program allows an approved RPU vendor to convert a business’ existing energy-intensive outdoor lighting to new, energy-efficient, LED lighting to create substantial savings.
All of these programs are made possible through RPU’s participation in the Southern California Public Power Association (SCPPA). SCPPA is a joint powers agency formed in 1980 by 11 municipal utilities and one irrigation district around Southern California to work together for the betterment of ratepayers through increased efficiency and improved economies of scale.
Because SCPPA has so many member utilities, which combined deliver power to more than two million customers, it is able to procure significant savings for member agencies through economies-of-scale pricing. RPU, for example, saves about $500,000 each year through its participation in SCPPA. More information about SCPPA can be found at www.SCPPA.org.
"RPU is always trying to enhance its ability to meet the needs of the community it serves," said Todd Jorgenson, Interim General Manager. "We continually evaluate our programs to find new opportunities for energy efficiency programs, while also making adjustments to existing programs to encourage as many customers to participate as possible."
For additional information on how to participate in Riverside’s energy efficiency programs visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com or call 311 and ask about the enrollment process.
Information specific to residential rebates can be found at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/residents/rebates.asp.
Information specific to business rebates can be found at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/businesses/rebates.asp.
Board of Public Utilities names task force; 15 months of meeting scheduled to start April 26
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Board of Public Utilities has appointed a task force that will begin meeting on April 26 and spend the next 15 months studying the city’s agricultural water rates to determine if changes are merited. In the meantime, the WA-3 and WA-9 rates will be frozen at current levels.
The Riverside City Council recommended the establishment of such a task force back in November, when the Council was discussing potential increases to water and electric rates. The rate increases that were recommended from that process will be heard by the City Council on May 22, but the agricultural rates will not be affected, pending the recommendations of the agricultural water rate task force.
"Riverside has always embraced agriculture, first through citrus and most recently through the GrowRIVERSIDE movement," Mayor Rusty Bailey said. "That history and the potential for nurturing more farm-based businesses make this the right time to review these rates."
The Board of Public Utilities approved the formation of the task force at its March 29 meeting. Utilities Board Member Andrew Walcker will be the chairman and Seth Wilson of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance will be the vice-chairman. Recommendations to the City Council are expected in July, 2019.
"Riverside Public Utilities prides itself on being a community resource, so it is important to ensure that these rates are current and reflect the needs of the community," Interim General Manager Todd Jorgenson said. "We are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable group of task force members."
In addition to Walcker and Wilson, task force members will include: Rose Mayes, Jason Hunter, Gilberto Esquivel, Patricia Lock-Dawson, John Gless, Darleen DeMason, Michelle Sheehe, Dale Sexton, Tom Evans, Ed Adkison, Scott Andrews, Steven Robillard, and two additional members yet to be named.
Topics the task force will examine include: policy, legal and City initiative considerations; the City’s agricultural and citrus heritage; the Gage Canal; the existing rate structure; and the Water Utility Cost of Service Study.
"Water has always been a key to Riverside’s growth and prosperity, and that is especially true in the Arlington Heights Greenbelt," Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. "I’m glad to see the task force is going to take the time to really delve into the issues facing resident farmers and growers who embrace agriculture in our city."
The task force will seek to recommend a fair and equitable distribution and pricing of water that promotes local agriculture and is consistent with the legal mandates of voter-approved Prop. R (1979) and Measure C (1987), as well as the goals of the GrowRIVERSIDE movement.
"Riverside Public Utilities takes very seriously its commitment to Riverside residents and business owners," said Board Chairperson Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra. "The Board looks forward to receiving the task force’s findings as it further examines this issue of great importance to our city."
The task force is expected to meet each month in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room on the 7th floor of Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main Street. The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 26; meeting dates, times, and materials will be posted at EngageRiverside.com under the heading "Council/Board Meetings." Meetings will be conducted in accordance with the Brown Act, are expected to last about two hours, and will be available for viewing on the City’s website and at watchriverside.com. More information can be found at: http://riversidepublicutilities.com/rateplan/default-pop-agricultural.asp
Riverside, Calif. – Electric vehicle owners have another reason to charge up while visiting downtown Riverside.
As part of the City of Riverside’s continued commitment to sustainability and vehicle electrification, 24 new Superchargers are available near City Hall. Tesla provided the chargers as one of their latest additions to the growing Supercharger Network.
These state-of-the-art, electric vehicle chargers can quickly re-charge Tesla vehicles so that commuters and road trippers can get back on the road. The addition means Riverside now has two downtown charging stations – one for Teslas and another for other vehicles.
"This next generation of charging stations is a great addition to Riverside's green portfolio," Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. "The ability to quickly charge even more electric vehicles will further enhance Riverside's reputation as a home for residents and businesses who care deeply about sustainability."
The city already had a charging station downtown on the west side of the City Hall parking lot near 9th Street. That station has two type of plugs to accommodate different vehicle charging systems and can provide a charge of up to 80 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes. That gives electric vehicle owners the option of recharging their vehicles while dining at one of Riverside’s downtown eateries or checking out a museum or two.
The 24 new chargers for Teslas are located on the top level of the Mission Square parking garage located on the corner of 9th and Market streets, across from White Park. That location and the location near City Hall can be found on the mobile application Plugshare, which provides information about locations of chargers throughout the area.
"Riverside Public Utilities embraces sustainability and actively works to promote sustainable practices," Interim General Manager Todd Jorgenson said. "These Tesla chargers will enable people working downtown, or visiting us for the day, to travel with confidence, knowing they will be able to re-charge their vehicles while enjoying our downtown."
For additional information on electric vehicles in Riverside visit GreenRiverside.com.
Riverside, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is urging customers to avoid contact with consumer scammers who give the impression they are calling from a city phone number, then claim the customer has a faulty meter and demand payment for repairs via a toll-free number.
RPU contacts its customers only through paper billing statements, online billing emails, late payment reminders, and green "48-hour notification" tags placed at the customer’s address. RPU does not call customers to demand payment. RPU personnel who work out in the community drive clearly marked RPU vehicles, wear City uniforms, and display proper photo identification.
"High-quality customer service is a top priority for us. Customers should be aware of suspicious calls and remain vigilant," says RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran.
Customers who have any questions about suspicious calls are encouraged to report possible fraudulent actions by dialing the City’s Call Center (from a landline) at 311, or (951) 826-5311. Customers can also file a report with the Riverside Police Department at (951) 354-2007.