Westwood CSD to raise rental rates starting Feb. 1

Rents on properties owned by the Westwood Community Services District were increased 10 percent by a unanimous vote of the board of directors at their meeting Monday, Jan. 6. Directors present were Mary Hasselwander, Rob Compton, David Escobar Jr. and Neil Young.

Properties are cabins on Birch Street next to the fire station, space within the community services district building where the Westwood Museum and Calvary Chapel Westwood are located and the site at the sewer ponds operated by Westwood Sanitation.

The rental rate increases are effective Feb. 1. The last time the rates were increased was in January 2007, and the increase was 3.2 percent.

According to Susan Coffi, district secretary, the board was provided with the annual consumer price index increases during the period when rents were not raised, and they calculated the current increase based on these figures. In the future, the board will most likely consider raising rates according to the CPI on an annual basis as they do when determining employee salary rate increases or water/sewer rate increases.

Currently the rental fees are part of the budget for the Westwood Fire Department, but Coffi said the use of the fees are at the discretion of the board of directors for the Westwood Community Services District.

The board determines how property taxes and rental fees will be allocated.

During his report, Joe Johnstun, general manager, said the $100 re-connection fee for non-payment shutoffs would be enforced.

Coffi said customers would receive a notification letter with their next water and sewer bill.

The board also approved the hiring of Luke Mayne as a water/sewer technician for the district. He joins Johnstun and Robert Baehler, assistant manager, with the oversite of the water and sewer system. He was one of three qualified candidates who interviewed for the position. His first day in the position was Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Hasselwander will remain president of the board for 2020, and Compton will be vice president. At the beginning of each year, the board votes on these positions.

The next meeting of the board of directors for the Westwood Community Services District is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 at the Lassen County Visitor Center, Westwood Station located at 669-605 Third Street.