HOLTVILLE — After months of circling around the topic of a sewer rate increase, the City Council moved forward with the first step toward adopting a rate increase by approving sewer rate protest procedures Tuesday.
“I think we knew the day was coming when we would have to look at what we didn’t want to look at — sewer,” Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Goodsell said.
Goodsell was the first to recommend approving the procedures, suggesting to “at least (approve) the minimum increase” projected.
“I think we are at that point where we need to move forward,” he said.
Although a specific increase has not been proposed, it’s suggested that more than 6,000 residential and commercial customers will be affected by the new increase, according to the city’s agenda staff report.
“We haven’t designed it (the rate increase) yet,” City Manager Alex Meyerhoff explained to the council.
The move for an increase comes as the city incurs additional debt from the wastewater collection outfall main replacement project and the wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project.
According to the city’s agenda report, the city uses revenue generated from sewer services to pay off debts incurred in the process of building the mandated capital improvements to the city’s wastewater system.
Protest procedures adopted by the council followed the regulations stated in California’s Proposition 218, which sets guidelines on how to raise utility rates. As part of that process, there must be a mechanism for affected residents to protest the increase, including submitting protests.
A proposed public hearing meeting is up for review and consideration by the council during the city’s next scheduled meeting, along with the Finance Committee’s recommendations on the proposed rate increase.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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