Uncategorized December 9, 2014

Santa Clara Valley Water District Offers Rebate Programs

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a variety of rebate and technical assistance programs for residential, landscape, commercial, industrial, institutional, and agricultural customers. There’s never been a better time to utilize these many programs. Join others who are saving water and money today.

Before purchasing any equipment or beginning any project, visit valley water.org/programs/waterconservation.aspx for program information and the steps to get started.

The most popular program is their Landscape Conversion Rebate Program. Qualified applicants can receive a sizable rebate for mew projects that replace a water-thirsty lawn or swimming pool with low water use landscaping. Artificial turf does not qualify. Please check program eligibility requirements before initiating any changes.

Other rebate programs include the graywater “”Laundry to Landscape” program, irrigation hardware, weather based irrigation controllers, connectionless commercial food steamers, high-efficiency toilets and clothes washers.

They also offer a free Water-Wise House Call to all Santa Clara County residents to help identify opportunities where you can conserve water. To schedule an appointment, please call 800-548-1882. If you are a San Jose Water Company customer, please call 408-279-7900 to schedule a free water audit.

Mountain View November 5, 2014

County Libraries – Including Los Altos – Are Free Again

Published on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:05
Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff – Town Crier Report

The Santa Clara County Library District Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board voted Thursday to eliminate the $80 annual library-card fee for users who do not live in the library district.

The vote was 8-3 in favor of the motion made by County Supervisor Joe Simitian, serving his second year on the JPA.

Until 2011, the state of California reimbursed public libraries for lending materials to residents of other library jurisdictions.

When the state announced plans to cut the $2.1 million the Santa Clara County Library District received to allow out-of-district residents to use its libraries, the JPA imposed an $80 annual fee for a library card for nonresidents to recover the loss.

With the JPA’s vote to eliminate the fee, effective July 1, residents of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, San Jose and Santa Clara are able to use any library in the county at no charge for the first time since 2011.

“No other library system in the county charges nonresidents for a library card,” Simitian said. “So residents of the county library district could borrow freely in other communities, but the residents of those communities got slapped with an $80 fee when they showed up in our district and asked for reciprocity.”

According to Simitian, the fee didn’t raise much money, cost a lot to administer and was a “nuisance” to members of the public who had to provide proof of residency.

“It just struck me as wrong on so many levels,” he said. “Our public libraries aren’t truly public when we charge an entrance fee. This $80 charge essentially became a ‘knowledge tax.’ It’s time we stopped charging folks for access.”

Simitian initially requested that the library district review the fee during the county budget process earlier this year. It was, he said, one of the first issues he heard about when he started holding sidewalk office hours in his district.

Elayne Dauber, former Los Altos Hills mayor and longtime member of the Los Altos Library Commission, said she was pleased with the district JPA Board’s action.

“I’m delighted,” she said. “We can be good neighbors again.”

Prior to the vote, to be eligible for a free Santa Clara County Library District card, users had to live or own property in the unincorporated area of Santa Clara County or in one of the following nine cities or towns: Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Campbell, Gilroy, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill or Saratoga.

For more information, visit sccl.org.