Saturday, March 17, 2012

Redwood City regional water and sewer rate increase, 7/1/12

Palo Alto Daily News/Bonnie Eslinger, 3/14/12. "Water and sewer rates may jump steeply again in Redwood City."

Upgrading, pipe replacement and repairs are needed, costs money
Redwood City plans to raise its water and sewer rates -- again. On May 7, the city council will be asked to increase water rates 12 percent and sewer rates 9 percent. In each of the two last years, both rates were increased 9 percent, said Marilyn Harang, the city's interim assistant public works director.

As was the case then, Harang said the city needs to raise rates to help finance major repair and replacement projects for both systems. Under the city's proposal, the monthly basic service charge for residential water customers will increase by about $2.35. And depending on how much they use, customers would pay anywhere from $4 to $27 more per month for the water. Residential sewer rates would spike about $5 a month, according to the proposal. If approved, the rates would take effect July 1.

The city says it needs to do about $80 million worth of upgrade work to its water drinking system over the next 20 years. It's also required to contribute $10 million over the next 30 years to help pay for seismic-safety improvements to the Hetch Hetchy water system, which is the city's sole source of drinking water and operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The system that transports and treats wastewater also needs significant work, according to Redwood City. The city is contributing $200 million over the next 10 years for replacement of outdated facilities at the regional sewage plant in Redwood Shores that's also used by Belmont, San Carlos and the West Bay Sanitary District. In addition, Redwood City plans to spend $100 million in the next decade to repair and replace its own sewage pipe system. 

A meeting to provide the public with information about the proposed rate increases and reasons for them is scheduled for April 4, beginning 7 p.m. at the city's public works services building, 1400 Broadway.

Reference - Redwood City Utilities Fact Sheet.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Marilyn Harang. I love that name.
And it's heart-warming and life-affirming that RWC and San Bruno water and sewer rates are going up. We're not alone, Scully. And look, timely notices are going out and public meetings being held with ample advance notice. How much you want to bet a last-minute fumbled-numbers gotcha vote, very conveniently timed to avoid scaring the sheep, won't happen over there?

Anonymous said...

Look at the report. It was the same as last year. Do you think maybe the overworked city clerk simply got the files mixed up? She feels bad enough. now stop making a conspiracy theory out of it, Lionel.

Kathy Meeh said...

"Look at the report. It was the same as last year."

Anon (3/17/12), I agree it is very easy to copy text and make that kind of last reporting clerical typo, whether overworked, distracted, or none of the above. And, the department that generated the error (typo), Finance (source) or City Clerk (data compiler) is unclear.

Because there has been a pattern of "last hour" switcheroos
on the city agenda, and no further explanation-- "conspiracy" is an alternative, potentially valid consideration. Which department inadvertently made the error? General consensus might trend toward source, Finance, which increases the odds on conspiracy. In this instance, that may be the reason Lionel had license to run with it.

Kathy Meeh said...

"...RWC and San Bruno water and sewer rates are going up..." (3/17/12, 6:41pm)

San Bruno, RWC, RWCS, Belmont, San Carlos sewer rates are going up, mainly because of sewer plant updates and collection pipe replacement. And, the RWC, RWCS, Belmont, San Carlos drinking water system will include earthquake protection improvements.

Pacifica is doing the sewer collection pipe replacement also, the result of the 2008 sewer-spill lawsuit settlement.

Lionel Emde said...

I don't believe it. The city clerk is very competent. And, as Kathy and I have noted, this is a pattern with the top staffers in Pacifica: Notice on a Friday when you don't want a crowd on Monday.

Remember the Coastside Scavenger rate increases? Friday noticing.
Recology contract signing?
Friday noticing.

Seems pretty plain to me.

Anonymous said...

As an employee who does not want to reveal my name for obvious reasons, I know it was a simple mistake. We are sorry. No conspiracy.