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City Proposes Rate Increases To Water, Wastewater And Storm Drain Bills

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The Sacramento Utilities Department is asking for a $7 per-month increase in water, wastewater and storm drain bills next year and  increases averaging $10.35 per month for each of the following three years. 

The department has increased water and waste water rates by 10 percent in each of the past three years.

Bill Busath is the city's director of utilities. He says the department needs a 16-percent, annual increase over four years to help pay for storm drain improvements.

"In a ten-year event, we want to keep water in the streets and in the 100-year event, we want to keep it out of structures. A lot of our drainage system is not improved to the point where we meet those ten and 100-year levels of service." 

The city last increased storm drain rates in 1996. Doing so again will require voter approval.

Busath says lack of capacity is a problem.

"We have enough drains. The entire drainage system when it was installed -especially the '40s through '70s - was just undersized."

The department says it has $367 million in needed water, waste water, and storm drain system improvements.

The city council Budget and Audit Committee and the Utility Rates Advisory Commission will review the request. The utilities department hopes to present the increases for a city council vote by next March.

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