After publicly laying out his case to increase the rates for city of San Diego water and sewer customers over the last year, Mayor Jerry Sanders will ask the City Council to approve the fee package this afternoon.
Sanders argues the approximately 35 percent increase to sewer bills and 29 percent increase in water fees will fund the improvements the city needs to make in order to comply with federal and state mandates to upgrade both systems. If sewer lines are not steadily replaced and water treatment is not improved, the city stands to incur hefty fines.
So far, Sanders’ proposal has rounded up the endorsements of business and taxpayer groups as well as environmentalists, although others — such as think tanks Center on Policy Initiatives and the Performance Institute — are opposing the rate hikes.
Proposition 218 allows utility customers to stop the proposal if more than a majority of the 276,000 ratepayers file protests with the city. The City Clerk’s Office reported less than 7,000 objections have been filed as of Friday.
Here are some other articles we’ve published about the water and sewer proposals:
- About $1 out of every $6 raised from the new fees will be used to pay down the city’s pension and retirement debts, an analysis showed.
- Sanders has hinted that he sees privatization of the water and sewer systems as one possible way to save customers money.
- Today’s rate proposal will be followed shortly by another pitch to increase bills this fall, after the city’s water wholesalers unveil their higher rates.
Today’s meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in the council chambers, located on the 12th floor of 202 C St.
Check back later for more.