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Galt City Council will consider changes to water, trash rates

Total increase for city residents would be less than a dollar

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Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:01 am, Tue Feb 15, 2011.

The Galt City Council will vote on several changes to customers’ utility rates tonight, resulting in an overall increase of $0.61 a month for a typical resident.

The main increase will be in the water rates, and the main decrease will be from the wastewater treatment plant upgrade fee, which essentially cancel each other out, Public Works Director Gregg Halladay said.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m., City Hall, Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive, Galt.

Below is a description of the rate changes:

  • Trash rates: Rates will increase $0.61 a month to $23.11 for a normal residential customer, or 2.7 percent. The city signed a contract with Cal Waste in 2007. Because of the poor economy, in 2010 rates were decreased by 1.85 percent.

The increase this year is because the cost for fuel and vehicle maintenance is going up. Also, the company is expecting costs at the landfill to increase.

  • Stormwater service rates: Rates for Tier 1 residents will not change. Tier 2 rates will go up $0.06 to $6.46 per month. Tier 2 is for all homes built since 2003.
  • Water rates: Rates will increase $3.43 to $26.30 per month.

In 2008, consultant HDR Engineering did a rate study calling for moderate increases to pay for inflationary cost increases and anticipated capital improvement costs.

Because of the economy, the council decreased rates by 0.5 percent in 2010.

The rates need to be increased in part because the city has to spend significant money to treat all of the city’s waters for arsenic.

Besides installing the actual equipment, the city has ongoing chemical and maintenance staff costs, Halladay said. The city also plans to dig deeper wells that bypass the arsenic.

  • Wastewater: Staff is recommending no changes to the wastewater rate, so it will remain at $26.45 per month. The city is recommending the wastewater treatment plant upgrade fee be decreased by $3.43 a month to $21.57.

Now that the wastewater treatment plant is finished the city has a better handle of the costs to pay debt service on the State Revolving Fund loan. It also has re-estimated operation and maintenance costs of the new plant.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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