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Sebastopol facing water, sewer rate hikes

By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Borrowing money to pay for improvements to Sebastopol’s water and sewer system is not cost-effective and would raise the price of the project by $2.2 million, according to a city study.

As a result, city administrators say that doubling residents’ water and sewer bills over the next four years is the best way to finance the project.

“If you are going to borrow money, you pay more in the end,” City Manager Jack Griffin said. “We are not recommending that.”

The study, along with the recommendation by city staff, will be given to the City Council at a special meeting tonight, the third time the council has taken up the rate hikes.

Increasing the sewer and water rates has been the subject of lengthy debates by the council, which is looking for alternatives to the city staff proposal.

The new study was done at the request of Vice Mayor Mike Kyes.

The staff has recommended water rate increases of 25 percent beginning in July, 22 percent in 2013-14, 18 percent in 2014-2015 and 15 percent in 2015-2016.

The proposed sewer rate increase is 12 percent for each of the next four years.

Without a rate increase, deficits of $450,000 to $525,000 are projected for each of the next four years as the city puts money into repairing and replacing parts of the system.

The city says it needs to cover the deficits, the cost of water and sewer service and also set aside $500,000 a year for maintenance and improvements for each of the systems. Sebastopol deferred $1.1 million in maintenance on the water system and $3.9 million on the sewer system.

Residents now pay $91.24 a year for sewer and water. The proposed increase would push it to $105.31 the first year.

In comparison, the annual rate is $165.50 in Santa Rosa, $144.29 in Petaluma, $131 in Rohnert Park, $126.91 in Windsor, $122.81 in Healdsburg, $120.49 in Cotati and $61.46 in Cloverdale.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in City Hall.





3 Responses to “Sebastopol facing water, sewer rate hikes”

  1. Steveguy says:

    It costs millions because we need the best and brightest that got us into this mess… ohh wait. never mind.

    And we will continue to pay. Dearly.

    Hardly worth growing your own veggies at the prices they charge now. Glad that I am on a well, but they want to meter it.

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  2. Jim Bennett says:

    Either get used to sticking up for your Rights.
    Or.
    Get used to a constant assault on your Property Rights and constant increases in the cost of single family home ownership.
    EG: Defunding road maintanace, well and septic shenanigans, mandatory ‘Green Building Retrofit Programs, etc, etc..
    As a couple regulars have pointed out;
    the ‘Climate Protection Plan’ coming up at S.R. Council next week will include a mandatory elimination of gas appliances.
    Natural gas is cheap and plentiful, but those two words aren’t in ICLEI’s vocabulary.
    The motivation for this over reaching reglatory tyranny is varied and calculated.
    1)More control. As the ICLEI model invariably permeates local utilities.
    2)More control. The ‘Smart Grid’ provides them the ability to monitor/surveil in real time.
    3)The over priced unnecessary, but mandatory solar crap coming down the bike path will require all electric.
    Taking inventory of, monitoring, surveiling, soon controlling behavior through the approved allocation of energy use granted by and reconciled through…you guessed it; government.
    4)Another way of making it prohibitivly expensive for you to stay in your American Dream.
    5)Another unaccountable funding stream from which to appropriate towards our oppression.
    6)the EMF damage to our health as Smart Meters communicating with your Smart chipped mandatory appliances and other Smart Meters communicate and reconcile into a constant, even worse a pulsating ricochet of EMF damage to the occupants.
    Citizens can be individually punished for not being on the ‘Program’.
    This is all part of the ‘Smart Grid’.

    Right now huge cell phone/radio antennas are being forced on communities all over.
    The technology being employed we funded through our military to be weaponized.
    It was used to manipulate the people of Iraq.’Poppers’were utilized to disorient and take the resolve from the People.
    Our brain activity evidently is simular to radio frequency.

    These ‘public servants’ have signed YOU up for more than most can imagine.

    Eventually coercing you into all that uncalled for Smart Growth being forced on communities throughout the Country.

    This sure isn’t like Mayberry.
    Andy would never let ‘em do this to us.

    Yeah, it’s just a rate hike.

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  3. Don Pauli says:

    Check your facts. Are these annual or monthly rates? How about completing the story by reporting on staffing, salaries, benefits, equipment.
    People living on fixed incomes can not afford these increases. The city council needs to do their jobs and investigate why these rates are so out of whack. Something stinks here and it isn’t the sewage.

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