Some Sebastopol residents, including a former city councilman, are objecting to a city-sponsored newsletter that urged people to oppose Sonoma County’s consideration of a water fluoridation plan.
A crowd of more than 100 filled the Cloverdale City Council chamber Wednesday night, mostly to register objections to hefty water and sewer rate increases. The City Council was able to lessen the sting by approving new rates that are a little less than what originally was proposed for the first year, but utility bills still will spike.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday could take the next step in a long-proposed plan to add fluoride to most of the county’s drinking water.
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday formally approved preparation of a plan for more thorough management and study of groundwater in the Santa Rosa Plain. The 85-square mile area, stretching from Cotati to Windsor, has a 260-square-mile watershed, including surrounding uplands. The plan, which fulfills a state mandate, would outline a strategy to conserve groundwater supplies and increase use of recycled water in the region, among other goals.
The Sonoma City Council Monday7 will consider a proposed water rate increase of 5 percent each year for five years, which city staff says is needed to operate and maintain the city’s water services and to offset the city’s increased costs to purchase water from the Sonoma County Water Agency.
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.
Windsor water and sewer rates are poised to rise by 9 percent in September, but the average bill will still be among the lowest for cities in Sonoma County. Windsor’s typical bill will go from the current $85.45 a month to $94.13. Only Rohnert Park, at an average $92, would be lower, according to a survey conducted by Windsor’s consultant. But some people also are going to start having to pay to irrigate with Windsor’s recycled wastewater.
If you were compelled to water your lawn this winter but worry your Santa Rosa sewer bill will soar because of it, fear not. The city’s Board of Public Utilities signed off on a plan Thursday to change the way sewer rates are calculated to ensure ratepayers aren’t penalized for irrigating during one of the driest winters on record.
Water and sewer bills could more than double for Sebastopol residents over the next four years as part of a proposed rate increase to pay for repairing and replacing the city’s aging systems. The increase, the first since 2008, would be 12 percent a year over the next four years.