The Lodi City Council is discussing a 2.5 percent water and wastewater rate hike tonight and will tally protest votes relating to the proposed increase.
Also tonight, the council will discuss a new proposed assessment on motels and hotels to pay for tourist promotion.
A letter sent to residents in October stated if the majority of property owners file oppositions to the increase, the increase will not take effect. According to city reports, this has rarely happened. The last protest count in 2009 generated only 254 of 35, 565 property owners, or just .7 percent.
If approved, the increase will take effect Jan. 1.
As an example of the increase, a single family one-bedroom home that currently pays a flat rate of $29.90 a month for water, will see an increase to $30.65 on its monthly bill, if the rate increase is approved.
A multi-family one bedroom home that currently pays $25.67 a month will see an increase to $26.31.
A single family home that uses a 1-inch meter and currently pays $38.60 a month, will pay $39.57 in January. Multi-family homes or non-residential customers that use a 1-inch meter and currently pay $38.60 a month, will pay $39.57.
According to staff, the water rate increase will help the city pay a $2.3 million annual debt service for its water plant. That may leave Lodi with $10 million to pay off related bonds in 2020, saving both the city and ratepayers millions in interest payments.
Wastewater fees will go toward annual debt service payments for improvements at White Slough totaling about $3.5 million a year.
It will also help pay for about $11.4 million in irrigation system repairs and modernizations at the White Slough Water Pollution Control Facility.
The rate increase was approved in 2009 as part of a five year plan.
Also on tonight’s agenda is the proposal to collect a 3 percent levy from the city’s 17 hotels and motels, as well as two recreational vehicle parks.
The assessment is expected to raise about $335,000 for the Lodi Tourism Business Improvement District, which will market the city as a tourist destination through “Visit Lodi!”
The assessment will also fund projects, programs and activities that will benefit hotels within district boundaries, according to a staff report prepared by Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers.
Today’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.