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Archived News Release from 2006

For Immediate Release

City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Water Rate Increase; Community Urged to Participate

Redwood City, CA - March 30 , 2006 - The City Council of Redwood City has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, April 3rd, at 7 pm to discuss and take community comment on how best to implement upcoming necessary water rate increases.

At this meeting, the Council will open the public hearing, city staff will then introduce the rate increase recommendations, and the council will open the public comment period on how the increases should be implemented. The meeting takes place at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road.

Final decisions on how to implement the rate increases will not be made at the April 3rd meeting. Instead, after a three-week public comment period, the Council will address the issue at its April 24th meeting, at which additional public input will be encouraged, and final decisions will be made. During that three-week comment period, the community is asked to send written comments on the implementation of the upcoming rate increase, to the City Clerk’s Office, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063.

The rate increase is necessary to reflect dramatic increases in the wholesale cost of water from the City’s sole provider (the Hetch Hetchy system, administered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission), and to help finance the City’s recycled water program – a crucial project in assuring our long-term water supply.

Last year, the City made necessary rate changes after working with the public to develop a rate increase scenario consistent with community values and equity, as expressed at a community roundtable workshop. The Council’s Utilities Committee (Council members Aguirre, Foust, and Ira) agreed that the considerable community input and results of that workshop process should be considered in the course of determining the current recommended rate increases.

The recommendation calls for the monthly basic service charge (currently $12) to be raised to $14.25, and the “consumption rates” (the charge for the amount of water used) to increase by 10¢ per “unit” of water used (one unit = 748 gallons). For the typical residential customer, the rate increase represents an estimated additional $3.35 per month.

Historically, Redwood City has enjoyed water bills significantly lower than the average for similar cities, and even with the necessary increases will still be able to provide water at rates that are among the lowest on the Peninsula. If the recommended rate increase is approved by the City Council, then all water used as of May 10th will be charged at the new rates, and will be reflected in customer bills beginning on July 10th.

The community is encouraged to read the full staff report on this item, available online, and participate in helping the Council to determine how best to implement these necessary rate increases. Information on Redwood City’s recycled water and water conservation programs is available at redwoodcity.org/water.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government. Subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter by sending an email to e-news@redwoodcity.org

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Contact:
Peter Ingram
Director of Public Works
or
Manny Rosas
Public Works Superintendent
(650) 780-7436

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