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The Padre Dam Municipal Water District has called a special meeting this morning to consider adding its name to a list of local water agencies protesting the city of San Diego’s prpoposed cost recovery methodology for a new desalinization plant that may be built in Carlsbad. The consideration comes at the request of the Valley Center Municipal Water District, already a signatory to an open letter to outgoing mayor Jerry Sanders.

At issue is the additional cost expected in the coming years to be borne by local water districts as a result of the plant’s construction.

When Padre Dam, which services East County communities including Santee, Lakeside, Alpine, and parts of El Cajon and its outlying neighborhoods, first received estimates on the cost of water for its customers, a cost increase of between $2.1 and $2.2 million was provided to the District. New estimates released early this month range from $2.2 to over $3 million, and San Diego has indicated its preference is to select the pay scale most costly to Padre Dam customers.

Staff members say the new cost allocation is “an inappropriate methodology and have expressed this in letters to both CWA and the City of San Diego,” according to a public meeting notice. The water board is expected to authorize the addition of its name and logo to the letter calling for San Diego to withdraw the new “requested alternative” cost allocation.

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