(Grass Valley, CA January 13, 2021) – The Nevada Irrigation District Board (NID) of Directors today heard from local leaders raising funds for “The Small Business Winter Survival Campaign” who came asking for NID to contribute $50,000 to their effort. While applauding the project, NID board members declined the request citing its own efforts and concerns about policy and ratepayer issues, the NID Board declined the request.
On March 26 of 2020, the NID Board of Directors declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and authorized the suspension of all customer delinquent fees and penalties during the emergency. This was in recognition that many in the community are experiencing financial difficulty due to the pandemics impacts. In 2020 NID forgave more than $165,000 in uncollected fees and penalties due to the COVID declaration.
NID is also setting up payment plans for customers who have become delinquent to ease the burden. Customers are also taking advantage of NID’s Low Income Rate Assistance Program that allows low-income residents’ water bills to be reduced by one-third off the base rate. This is in addition to the mounting expenses NID has incurred as an essential service that must operate during the pandemic.
The Board was also concerned about the perception of a gift of public funds, ratepayer obligations, and a Board policy put in place in 2019 that suspended all contributions to nonprofits/community organizations until all reserve funds are at desired levels.
The NID Board praised the group for their success raising more than $920,000 for the region’s nonprofits, small businesses, and wildfire survivors and applauded the new campaign to help locally owned business survive.