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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I own a five acre orchard in Chico. I have a 7.5 h.p., three phase electric water pump for the orchard. The only way I can have electricity to the pump from PG&E is on ag status. For agriculture there is a standby fee. On a 7.5 h.p. it's about $37.50 per month.

I think singling out agriculture as the only ones to pay this fee is very unfair. I'm zoned agriculture, so there's nothing else I can do with the property anyway.

If I want to keep the orchard alive I need water. Five acres doesn't bring in much money. I could sure use the $450 a year for orchard supplies. I'm sure the standby fees have long since paid for the power lines.

If government really cares about the small farmer, here's a place to help. Especially with utility deregulation gong on now, this might be a good time to fix this injustice.

Thank you,
Peter Bernkrant
Chico, California