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Alhambra to hold public hearing on sewer rate increase

Photo by flickr user Máirín licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

The Alhambra City Council will hold a public hearing on a multi-year citywide sewer rate increase on Monday, July 23 at 7 p.m., allowing residents to submit input on planned sewer rate hikes up until that date.

The proposal would raise the bi-monthly fixed water use charge, as well as usage rates based on individual water consumption to raise additional revenue for city sewer system repairs.

This would raise the cost from a bi-monthly average of $23.94 for one family using a 5/8″ water meter to an estimated $31.09 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, according to 2018 sewer rate study commissioned by the city. By fiscal year 2022-2023, the estimated charge would be $43.09.

Residents can submit a written protest against the increase by July 23. If a majority of rate payers submit a protest against the measure, then the city won’t be able to implement the increase, according to Proposition 218 rules on local government taxes.

If approved, the rate hike will go into effect on Tuesday, July 24.

At a presentation in May, the City of Alhambra said that the rate increases were necessary for upgrades mandated in a 2015 state court judgment against Alhambra from a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The lawsuit claimed that the city was dumping pollutants into various water sources because of a sewer system whose infrastructure wasn’t up-to-date. The city has three years from when the judgment was filed to make repairs classified as severe, but has more time to make other upgrades.

The city currently has $17.2 million in cash reserves in their sewer repair fund, but said that without an increase these reserves would be depleted, said Zeki Kayiran, a consultant who conducted the sewer rate study. The rate hike would replenish the fund by fiscal year 2023-2024 and would not require another increase.

Zeki added that sewer rates had not been increased since 2012.

Residents can file a written protest with the city clerk at 111 S First Street, Alhambra, CA 91801 at or prior to the public hearing scheduled for July 23, 2018. Identify the affected property and the name and signature of property of owner or customer submitting the protest. Only one protest per parcel will be counted.

For more information on repair projects, projected rate increases and other financing, read Alhambra’s sewer rate study below:

City of Alhambra sewer rate study 2018 by Anonymous 56qRCzJR on Scribd

Independent journalism is a bedrock of democracy--and it's in crisis. Here at the Alhambra Source, we're committed to covering the local stories that matter most to you. We don’t have advertisers and we don’t have pay walls, but we do have bills. You read to the end of this story. That's great. But this kind of journalism will end without public support. Join us! Support the work and the democratic values it serves. Donate now!

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