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Galt City Council approves $1 per month utility rate decrease, effective March 1

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Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:03 am, Wed Feb 8, 2012.

Residents of Galt will be paying about $1 less on their utility bills beginning March 1. On Tuesday, the Galt City Council unanimously approved a series of utility rate adjustments.

"We're looking at several decreases and one big increase," interim public works director Richard Prima said, adding that the city's goal is to avoid large rate fluctuations.

"You keep tweaking them a little each year so you don't have to raise them a whole bunch at one time."

Three ratepayers sent letters opposing the adjustment, but there were no speakers during Tuesday's public hearing.

Here's how this year's new rates break down:

  • Residential flat-rate water fees: Up by about 3 percent, or 89 cents per month.
  • Residential sewer rates: Down 6.5 percent, or $3.12 per month.
  • Garbage service: Residents will see a monthly 5 percent increase, or $1.20, while commercial ratepayers will pay 4.5 percent more per month. That amount is set by a franchise agreement with California Waste Recovery Systems, and varies based on service.

Previously, Mayor Barbara Payne said that it is the goal of the city to collect only the rates needed to cover the service.

However, there are times like those in the past when the state passes down a mandate — and to fund it, the city turns to its ratepayers, she said.

For example, Galt has had to deal with eradicating higher arsenic levels, and the city raised water rates last year to meet that demand.

Prima said the work is not complete and could lead to a larger rate increase in the future.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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