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Lodi landlords wrestle with water billing issues

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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:00 am

Lodi city staff suggested making property owners responsible for utility bills when a renter fails to pay as a way to reduce city write-offs, at a Lodi City Council early morning study session on Tuesday.

Public Works Director Wally Sandelin said the idea is in the beginning stages, and he will be discussing it with apartment, duplex and condo owners at future public meetings about the water meter program.

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  • trista aquino posted at 1:40 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    trista aquino Posts: 119

    Why not charge each renter according to the # of ppl per household? For EXAMPLE lets say anyone between 12-65 yrs old counts for using 1 unit (u) and all others .5 You have an apartment complex that is renting out 5 households:
    Aprt. # ppl/(u) =% of bill
    Apt A= 2 Adults/(2u) =20%
    Apt B= 2 Adults/(2u) =20%
    Apt C= 2 Adults/(2u) =20%
    Apt D= 1 Senior/(.5u) =5%
    Apt E= 2 Adults
    +3 Kids/(3.5u) =35%

    If the bill for this month is $500 then A, B and C each pay $200, D pays $50 and E pays $350.

    Now what's with that? And please dont get sidetracked and argue on the #'s- They were just to illustrate the concept.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:04 am on Sun, Feb 3, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Thank you for the update, Josh, but does that include large industrial users, as well as many small businesses, mainly in the downtown and strip mall areas? I've never installed any fire protection, potable water, or any water distribution system where I haven't been required to install a city/county water meter since my first overhead/underground water delivery system, including the city of Lodi. In my few cases of the downtown projects that I have encountered, I don't recall any of those downtown "firetraps" having any kind of waters installed. I do see old boilers and heating systems in the basements of many of these buildings that appear to have been, or still are, leaking varfious fuels and and contaminants that are disposed of by mere floor drains and those contaminants/ pollutants are merely dumpimg those contaminants into the sewer system, with some rumored to be discharging into the Mokelumne river. It's time the building inspectors do their job, along with LFD and make sure these polluters are required to clean up theirshare of the contamination/pollution before allowing them to conduct further business. Down Lodi is, in my opinion, one large fire trap waiting for one large incident that would spread to nearly every dwntown building and destroying downtown Lodi. And those decrepit hotels along Main Street are in worse shappe yet, with no elevator nor fire sprinkler system to aid in the many tenants who rent on the upper floors that are pretty well non-ambulatory and would stand little chance to exit these buildings with narrow, steep stairways. The Col and LFD need to step up their inspections and bring these multi story, bedbug, cockroach ridden buildings up to code before an embarrassing fiire or disaster could cost the COL tens of millions of dollars in personal lawsuits for not enforcing code and fire regulations.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 7:05 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 538

    This issue should have been resolved when the decision to install meters was initially made two or three years ago. You may recall the City Council at that time was using the excuse that the State was requiring water meters to be installed by the year 2025(?). I can assure you a lot can happen at the State level between now and 2025 and the decision was premature. We were also told it was going to be "revenue neutral". Well, anyone who thinks there water bill is going to be lower with the installation of water meters is going to be in for a real surprise.

    By the way Doug, the commercial users have been on water meters for years.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:15 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Lodi city council, management and public works don't have the slightest idea how to handle this poblem. What's wrong with having a public hearing on this issue and give both the landlords and tenants the chance to present their ideas and suggestions? And at a 7PM council meeting, not one more of those 7AM "secret' sessions that most are unable to attend, as the one Tuesday that coverd the water issue that should have been scheduled in the evening to allow those involved to be present. And when are the commercial users going to be metered? 2025, so they get their water dirt cheap while the residential ratepayers subsidize the biggest users, and wasters, just as they do the large commercial/industrial electric users, some supposedly getting their power below cost and even selling excess power back to LEUD at the end of the month for many times the cost they originally paid for it? Not to worry, this city council, with the three amigos having the three votes to pass any issue they want, will again stick it to the residential ratepayers to let these multi unit and comercial/industrial owners off the hook by using the same ripoff system they are now trying to get rid of. This water meter thing was shoved down our throats with the promise that ALL users would be metered, not just pandering to those multi unit and commercial/industrial people that will continue to get their water unmetered, which will be unfair to them. Why should someone living in one of these units with one or two tenants pay the same water usage bill as a family of 3 or more? Every apartment and rental unit needs to be metered. That's the way many other real cities manage their water resources, isn't it? Why not Lodi?

  • wendy coe posted at 9:57 pm on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    wendy coe Posts: 39

    It would be nice that the Lodi City Council or the City of Lodi would notify landlords that this was up to discussion. I have notified the City of Lodi regarding this issue. I have not had anyone return my calls, but just told to contact someone. Sorry please contract me because I do have concerns regarding this billing. My contract info is on the county records for property taxes.

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:50 pm on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 605

    One meter for 5-6 apts. won`t work. You can`t divide one meter into a number of apts. Go back to the old days,---- Flat Rate.

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