Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Think Pacifica sewer rates stink?

San Carlos residents sewer rate increase last year was 6 percent, but the next 3 years:  42.5 to 67 percent.

Palo Alto Daily News/Peninsula/Bonnie Eslinger, staff, 4/9/13.  "San Carlos residents face possible 67 percent sewage rate hike over three years."

Yes, keep our sewers functioning
"Public Works Director Jay Walker said the steep rate hike is needed for the city's wastewater system, "to keep it functioning."

....  In addition to covering the cost of providing sewer services, the extra money will fund improvements to the city's system of pipelines and pump stations and to the regional wastewater treatment plant operated by the South Bayside System Authority, Walker said. The city also is still paying for system improvements mandated by a lawsuit settlement reached with San Francisco Baykeepers that aims to reduce its sewage overflows.

Last year, the city council approved a 6 percent rate increase. According to the notice that will go out, the $637.24 annual charge for residential units would increase July 1 to $807.46, then to $968.l9 on July 1, 2014, and to $1,065.85 on July 1, 2015.

A "bare bones minimum" rate increase suggested by city staff would result in a 42.5 percent increase over three years, with the $637 annual charge rising to $908 by July 2015." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

The sewer maintenence workers are making $125,000 and more.

That's why we're paying so much.

Where's Ed Norton when you need him.

Anonymous said...

Don't let city council see this!

Anonymous said...

Belmont drops sewer fix, home sale mandate
April 11, 2013, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal

Mandatory sewer lateral inspections and repairs when property owners decide to sell their homes will not be required in Belmont, the council decided Tuesday night.

The Public Works Department proposed to have sewer laterals inspected and repaired before the sale of the home to not only protect the city’s own aging sewer infrastructure but to also protect the consumer from any unforeseen problems with the underground pipes.

The point-of-sale mandate, already in effect in several other local cities due to a court decision, was opposed by the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, who claimed the mandate could “kill” the sale of the home.

Fixing a sewer lateral could cost between $7,500 and $25,000.

The point-of-sale options the council considered Tuesday night were:

• No requirement at point of sale;

• Seller disclosure without an inspection required;

• Seller disclosure with inspection and repair (if needed) completed by buyer within 180 days of close of escrow;

• Inspection before close of escrow and repair (if needed) completed by buyer within 180 days of close of escrow; and

• Inspection and repair (if needed) completed before the close of escrow.

The council went with the “seller disclosure without an inspection required” option that was essentially proposed by Councilman Warren Lieberman back in January.

The council also raised the limit for when sewer lateral inspections will be required on home remodels from $50,000 to $200,000.

The city’s goal is to reduce the inflow and infiltration from private sewer laterals that can lead to sewage overflows and potential fines for the city.

The city has undertaken a series of measures to reduce inflow and infiltration including a smoke-testing program and FOG program where restaurants and other businesses are made aware of the fats, oils and grease that harm the sewer system.

Some cities in the county already have the mandate but that is due to a court order after pollution watchdog San Francisco Baykeeper sued several cities after excessive sewage waste flowed into freshwater creeks and the Bay. Pacifica, South San Francisco, Millbrae and Burlingame already require the inspections at the point of sale but Belmont is not required to.

The ordinance will come back to the council for a second reading at a future date.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106

Anonymous said...

Pacifica's POS inspection and repair mandate is court ordered, unlike Belmont's. City Council is powerless to do anything about that. As home sales recover, the POS mandate will become more of an issue. Maybe SAMCAR will fight it in the courts. Pacifica sure can't afford to.