Hank Sims / @ 1:08 p.m. / Agendizer

Fee Increase for Eureka Water and Sewer Services Set to be Finalized at Special Monday Night Council Meeting

If you live in the city of Eureka, you should brace yourself for the notion that you’ll be paying a bit more for water and sewage services in the new year — and again a bit more over each of the next five years.

The Eureka City Council has called a special meeting Monday night to finalize the rate hikes, which have been in the works for several months. Our Izzy Vanderheiden had a good rundown of what those rate hikes might look like, and the reasons for them, about a month ago. Basically, the city needs to put money into its somewhat aged infrastructure, and a rate hike is one of the ways it plans to pay for that.

In the story linked above, Vanderheiden noted that ratepayers unhappy about the prospective hikes were invited to submit letters of protest, as per Proposition 218. If more than half of the city’s water customers officially protested the hikes, then they would not be allowed to move forward.

Well, as the current staff report indicates — see below — the city says that it has so far received a total of 167 letters of protest, somewhat less than the 4,800 or so required for Prop. 218 to kick into gear. So while ratepayers may still file protest letters, it’s looking pretty safe that it ain’t gonna get there, and that the fee hikes will likely be adopted at this special meeting.

Why a special meeting, one day before the regular meeting? One reason is that it’s expected to be a long and contentious item. Another reason is that it is one day before new councilmembers G Mario Fernandez and Renee Contreras de Loach are seated. City Manager Miles Slattery told the Outpost this morning that the city wanted to get this done before Councilmember Natalie Arroyo leaves for the Board of Supervisors, and before Councilmember Kim Bergel is elevated to Mayorship of the city.

“We really wanted to do it because it’s a lot to digest, and we’ve been prepping council on this for a long time,” Slattery said.

How much more will your water and sewage bills be going forward, if this passes? The city has an online calculator that you might be able to use if you have your current bills handy. If not, here’s a sample rundown for an average single-family home and an average business:

The Eureka City Council meets at City Hall — 531 K Street — at 5 p.m. Monday. See below for the agenda and supporting documentation.


Eureka City Council
Dec. 19, 2022, 5 p.m.

A. PUBLIC HEARING

1. Water and Sewer Rate Study Adoption

The Eureka City Council is considering adopting a report and resolutions to update the City's water and sewer rates and connection fees. They will hold a public hearing, review the proposed rates and impact fees, and then vote on whether to adopt the recommendations. If approved, the new rates and fees will go into effect for the fiscal year starting in 2023.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a corrido!

Coro:
¡Escuchen bien la noticia
que el pueblo los invita a ver!
Sobre la adopción de tarifas
que Eureka quiere aprobar.

Verse 1:
Brian Issa, de la DPOW,
estuvo a cargo de este tema.
Y NBS preparó el reporte
con tarifas de agua y alcantar.

Coro:
¡Escuchen bien la noticia
que el pueblo los invita a ver!
Sobre la adopción de tarifas
que Eureka quiere aprobar.

Verse 2:
El Concejo del Ayuntamiento
propuso una audiencia pública.
Y luego aprobaron las tarifas
para el agua y el alcantarilla.

Coro:
¡Escuchen bien la noticia
que el pueblo los invita a ver!
Sobre la adopción de tarifas
que Eureka quiere aprobar.

Verse 3:
Miles de notificaciones
ya fueron enviadas con el fin
de saber si el pueblo protesta
por las tarifas que proponen.

Coro:
¡Escuchen bien la noticia
que el pueblo los invita a ver!
Sobre la adopción de tarifas
que Eureka quiere aprobar.

Verse 4:
167 protestas ya recibieron
y aún hay más de por medio.
Esperan que el pueblo considere
lo que proponen en el acuerdo.

Coro:
¡Escuchen bien la noticia
que el pueblo los invita a ver!
Sobre la adopción de tarifas
que Eureka quiere aprobar.

— LoCOBot

DOCUMENTS:

Staff ReportResolution Water RatesResolution Sewer RatesFinal Draft Rate Study Report with Appendices



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