Experts say we will have a strong El Niño this winter. Cold weather conditions are already showing serious wear and tear on our utilities. We’ve experienced some street flooding during recent storms which highlights the urgency to invest in the repair and replacement of our infrastructure.
Some of Sacramento’s water and wastewater systems have been improved thanks to the rate adjustments the City implemented four years ago, however, our work is not done.
Our water and wastewater utilities need many additional improvements. The rate adjustments proposed for 2017-20 will help fund critical pipeline and facility improvements, emergency preparedness projects and help the City meet its state and federal regulatory requirements. It will also fund the completion of the City’s water meter program by the end of 2020. Transitioning all ratepayers to metered billing will be more fair and equitable and encourage water conservation.
Our storm drainage utility has been overlooked. Since storm drainage rates have not increased in 20 years, there is currently a backlog of nearly $375 million in critical system upgrades to ensure the safety and reliability of the system. We want to continue to provide vital drainage services and prevent flooding in your community.
Utilities is postponing the storm drainage rate adjustments to 2017. There are several other ballot measures that will be proposed over the next few months, including the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency’s assessment. SAFCA’s measure is also critical to increasing community flood protection. Utilities wants to avoid possible conflict and confusion with two measures at the same time aimed at flood prevention.
We want to make sure we have the opportunity to educate our customers about the storm drainage system, the challenges and budget realities, their role in maintaining and paying for the system and the rate change process. Postponing the storm drainage rate adjustments will allow us to do that.
The City understands these increases have a financial impact on our residents. The City offers the Utility Rate Assistance Program to help income-eligible Sacramento households save on their water and wastewater bills. For more information or to apply, please call (916) 808-5454 or visit Utilities Services.
Learn more about your utilities, the rate assistance program and proposed rate adjustments at Your Utilities, Your Community.