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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 3, 2001

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',r~ Pr~,1 porter Lassen Hews 3 200 s9 districts are ap- for about on special state re- fund. Riverside lawsuit," ac- Schools Su- Bob Owens. agreed to a CUrrent school provides measured by attendance in fall enrollment gives each dis- ADA each year $.50 on the dol- to Associate Mike Justice. include inter- said agree- is easier how much spent on spe- | since 1980. case, the on State Man- state does not money to coy- of eight re- of special to the Lassen Education Mandated Cost Settlement DISTRICT I P-2 ADA I X $45.25 I$ TO BE RECEIVED Big Valley 317.77 14,379 Fort Sage 345.55 15,636 Janesville 482.33 21,825 Johnstonville 218.53 9,888 Lassen High 1177.01 , 53,260 Ravendale 5.12 ] 232 Richmond 194.49 8,801 Shaffer I 390.06 17,650 Susanville 1331.40 60,246 Westwood 472.48 I 21,380 I LCOE 400 PUPILS X $224 = ( 89,600 The Lassen Co. SELPA Approximatelyi 10,000 TOTAL 'l l $322,897 I The Lassen County Office of Education distributed this chart estimating what local school districts will receive if the proposed settlement is finalized and the money appro- priated. Each district receives about $45.25 per student measured by the official aver- age daily attendance for the 1999-2000 school year. Each district also will receive a sim- ilar amount split into equal annual payments during the next 10 years. The County Office of Education receives about $224 per student enrolled in December 1999. The Special Education Local Plan Area receives a one-time reimbursement. Union High School District's resolution approving the set- tlement, those include the re- source specialist, enrollment case loads, extended school year, maximum age limit, in- terim placement, written parental consent, community advisory committee and gover- nonce structure programs. The settlement provides $520 million "as a one-time general fund reimbursement for past special education costs," ac- cording to the LUHSD resolu- tion. There is no requirement that districts spend settlement money on special education. The high school district will receive about $104,000. The to- tal includes $52,000 this year and almost the same amount in equal installment for the next 10 years. To get that money, each dis- trict must waive its right to file any further special educa- tion mandate claims, or "bene- fit from any new special educa- tion claims filed, unless the special education law changes," according to the res- olution. If the settlement falls through, it said the waiver will not take effect. Similar resolutions must be filed with the state by Jan. 31 for any district desiring to take advantage of the settlement. Before any payment can be made, the waiver must be signed by at least 85 percent of all local educational agencies including school districts, county oWmes and Special Edu- cation Local Plan Areas, known as SELPAs. Those LEAs must represent at least 92 percent of the statewide ADA. The high school district, County Office of Education and Janesville Union School I)istrict are among those who passed such a resolution in De- cember. Two other things must hap- pen before any payments are made. The State, the Riverside District and other districts who joined the Riverside case will ask a superior court in January or February to make the svttlement final and bind- ing on all the LEAs. The parties to the settlement will then request funding for the settlement from the State Legislature. That request will be made as soon as the legisla- ture reconvenes for the 2001 session. The waivers are the most critical factor, according to in- formation materials Owens provided. Once the educational agencies have signed on, the court and legislative action is likely. If any of the three actions fall through, the state will set up a new 120-day claiming pe- riod. Excess costs were esti- mated as high as $1.8 billion storewide. cruelest irony great Lassen crisis--if conserve to lessen the of their wallet price of may have to rates. news is that if needed, smaller than increase to approve meeting on lunicipal Utility Manager told the LMUD that the in- recommending is the amount of the board the signed Dec. 19 to POWer are tiered-- Power the utility the less has to pay for the entire rate-in- is based on Company honoring agreement Under that must set its level that ensures can pay its oper- out of the rates said the pro- were "a structured a flat rate." Baxter pointed out that al- though the company makes power available, "the cus- tomer is not required to con- sume." Baxter anticipates cus- tomers will conserve power in the I0- to 20-percent range, but he added, "That's my own pro- jection." But he told the board that consumers conservation ef- forts "won't happen until they see the impact of their first bill." According to Baxter. LMUD purchases the power at two price levels where "the most expensive power comes first and the cheapest is on the tail end." Baxter said he based his projections on last year's con- sumption. "Conservation measures on- ly help the customer," Baxter told the directors. "If they con- serve substantial amounts of power, it may cause us to raise prices slightly." Is defaulting on bonds an sption? Director Darrell Wood asked LMUD's counsel, Su- sanville attorney Frank Cady, if the utility could simply de- fault on its bonds. Cady said LMUD was con- tractually obligated to set the rates it charges customers high enough to allow the utili- ty to pay back its bondholders and generate enough income to responsibly operate the dis- FREE SEMINAR! gb AS SFFN ON: Oa~d L~rnan, j~ leno, Ro~e O'D~i. S~ly Jessv & elf.s! Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2001 Comne/peopie to buy your producl or service. Deliver Irresis ble presentations. Cuzlomers will think irstheindea Io boy from you. Learn the secrets of persuasmn & the too/s of influence. trict. He advised the directors that if they defaulted on the bonds, the bond company "can't really take over" be- cause LMUD is a public utili- ty. But he said such a move would probably force LMUD into a bankruptcy hearing in federal court. Such proceedings, Cady said, are extremely complicat. ed because LMUD is a public utility. The case would take years to resolve, during which time the legal fees would pay the salaries of several large law firms for several years. But in the end, either a judge or a trustee would probably step in, take over the opera- tion of the district, and raise the rates to the appropriate level. Cady also said that the name Lassen County still bears the stain of Lassen Com- munity College's bankruptcy in financial circles. Baxter added that the Lassen stain is so stubborn and deep, bond companies have suggested the utility FREE Flights! Take a high-flying adven- ture, and learn about aviation at the same time. Local pilots and members of Susanville's EAA Chapter 794 continue to offer free airplane rides for eight to seventeen-year olds. Qualified pilots and aircraft are available on short notice. For reserva- tions or information, call 253-3987 q Off All Jotul Stoves In Stock On Sale from Jan. 3rd to Jan. 30th, 2001 l)l " Alla~a.d, 1:600 l:i,eligt,, CB F 500 Ode Almanor Lakefront Village 318 Peninsula Drive Lake Almanor, CA 96137 530-596-4530 drop Lassen from its name in order to make the company more attractive to investors. Help for consumers Baxter told the directors the company had $300,000 in its Public Benefit Fund. The fund was mandated by state law during deregulation, and the company is required to put 2.8 percent of its revenue into the fund. Baxter said that amounts to about $29,000 every month. But Baxter said that $150,000 of that money is already com- mitted to other projects. He said the fund has been used to bolster a number of communi- ty projects including lighting as part of a Historic Uptown Susanville project, light at the Pat Murphy Little League Field, lighting at Lassen High School's Arnold Field, and lighting at the college. "We did not pass these costs on the consumers," Baxter said. He also told the directors that the company had about 500 energy-efficient florescent light bulbs. At his recommen- dation, the board approved a proposal to distribute those light bulbs free of charge to customers whose income fell below the poverty level. The bulbs had been sold at a local hardware store for cost plus $2. Asking the state for a bailout Baxter reported on last week's Chamber of Commerce meeting, which featured a pro- posal that a letter-writing campaign may influence state officials to help pay some of the soaring prices. Residents in San Diego, hit hard by quadrupling energy prices last summer, got a $150 million bailout from the state, and board member supported the idea that a letter-writing campaign may help LMUD get a similar bailout. Board President Marine "Buzz" Gianotti said he clipped the list of elected offi- cials from the Lassen County Times and was encouraging everyone to write their repre- sentatives and ask for their help. I I iii i WILLITS MOTORS QUINCY - NEW & USED CAR AUTOMALL C LEB AT ON! ertified (example: 2000 Chrysler 30Ore) UP TO 60 MONTHSI (example: 200 Dodge Dakota) 4 PrMnsi al Sm'vice Excellent Results ill CREDIT ll UNION IIII DIRECT liB LENDING S~LE ~S GoOO ~RU 1~ i-