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Lodians, here’s what you need to know about water meter bill coming in mail

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Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:38 am, Sat Apr 9, 2011.

If you own an older home or rental property in Lodi, you will probably soon receive a $300 bill to pay for a water meter.

The city sent out the notices on Saturday. From Monday morning to around noon on Tuesday, city employees fielded 250 calls from concerned residents, Public Works Director Wally Sandelin said.

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22 comments:

  • roy bitz posted at 8:48 pm on Sun, Apr 10, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 499

    How have other cities managed this State mandate? How have they funded it?
    Do other California cities deal with this issue by placing a lien on owner's property?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:24 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ms Bobin.... I forgot to mention... I appreciate your last post... for once you did quote me correctly... only your conclusions were wrong.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:17 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ms Bobin... thank you for making clear that you were not playing games... obviously, choice two was the correct answer.

    As far as your observation about the The Building Industry Association clearly being pro-business and anti-regulation for the most part, of course... The problem is your conclusion as to what that means from my perspective. The republican governor also supported the bill... Ms Bobin... you really are silly

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 6:40 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Baumbach stated: "Since Republicans normally support pro business bills, and democrats tend to support environmental bills, is it that difficult for you to comprehend that republicans may have been against the bill before they voted for it?... Ms Bobin, either you are playing games or are uneducated in political endeavors?.. which is it? "

    Perhaps you might want to rethink your haughty response, Mr. Baumbach? You have successfully managed to trip over yourself in your efforts to make this a politically divisive issue.

    Your very first sentence above (and don't tell me that I am misquoting, re-wording, etc.) clearly indicates that you ARE MAKING A SUPPOSITION about opposition to AB 2572. "MAY HAVE BEEN AGAINST?" (your words).

    Aside from the fact that you have clearly made a donkey's behind of yourself, perhaps you missed the obvious: The Building Industry Association has clearly been pro-business and anti-regulation for the most part. I'm sure a case could also be made for the "Southern CA water agencies," also. And the economic stimulative effect that a very large order for water meters could also be considered "pro-business."

    But all of this is off-topic and should never have been brought up in the first place. Especially by someone who will not be affected by water meters (unless you have moved to the city, that is).

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:33 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 1:48 pm ...If the majority of Republicans opposed it, you are claiming that most of them voted for it as a compromise? For what? Come on...

    Ms Bobin... Please stop misquoting me and changing the character of my posts... I stated ... many politicians vote for something they are against for compromise and other considerations. I was referring to who took what side before the vote took place.
    You left out "and other considerations" ... of course it is not only because of compromise...
    Since Republicans normally support pro business bills, and democrats tend to support environmental bills, is it that difficult for you to comprehend that republicans may have been against the bill before they voted for it?... Ms Bobin, either you are playing games or are uneducated in political endeavors?.. which is it?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:00 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Bitz: Good point.

    From what little I've read of the bill that requires water meters to be installed, doing so is tied to the ability of an "urban water supplier" to obtain state funding for a wastewater treatment plant. Might want to do some research on that.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:48 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Now you are playing with facts, Mr. Baumbach. If the majority of Republicans opposed it, you are claiming that most of them voted for it as a compromise? For what? Come on...to quote you, "please stop."

     
  • Jim Hanson posted at 1:47 pm on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Jim Hanson Posts: 27

    ROY - Here is a previous opinion article that states what other cities are doing.

    http://www.lodinews.com/opinion/letters/article_c293bad0-d761-5a4d-bae8-6a5ec3bb7393.html

    I know the individual and the work he put in to compile the info. He called everyone of these cities personally. It is an outrage that they are sticking the lodi residents with this TAX!!!!!!!!! I can't believe these council members were re-elected.... it drives me to the point of insanity. We might as well cut them a check and bend over.


     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:37 am on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ms Bobin... please read more carefully... I did not say "vote"... I said "support"...
    many politicians vote for something they are against for compromise and other considerations. I was referring to who took what side before the vote took place.
    You make a habit of substituting one word for another ... please stop.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:07 am on Thu, Apr 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Roy, I was not suggesting to take focus away from the Lodi council at all... I used the word "also"... please do not mischaracterize what the intent of my post was.

     
  • roy bitz posted at 11:30 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 499


    The issue is:
    three council gentlemen have mismanaged this project from the beginning.
    Our gentle councilmen will love Darrel's suggestion---to shift focus to legislators and other supporters of this mandate--away from our three gentle councilmen. However, this idea does nothing to resolve the problem of funding this project.
    Three councilmen had no problem pushing the forty million bond to fund the unneeded " treat and drink water treatment" plant. Why not place a lien on all property owners to fund the treat and drink plant too?
    Again, I ask---how are other California cities dealing with this mandate.
    Are they all placing liens on property owners and billing them $300 or is there a better idea?


     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:03 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Curious where Mr. Baumbach got his information. When I looked up the Senate and Assembly votes for this bill, less than 10 individuals from each house voted no. Are you telling me that out of 40 Senators and 80 Assembly members, the majority in these houses were Democrats?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:29 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Seems to me the focus should also be directed at the people who sponsored and pushed this legislation into law... we should also appreciate those who opposed it...

    Who supported the passage of AB 2572, the water meter bill...
    1. Sierra club
    2. Cristine Kehoe, a San Diego Democrat who proposed the legislation
    3. Southern California water agencies
    4. the Building Industry Association
    5. Majority of democrats in California legislature
    Who opposed it...
    Majority of Republican California legislators

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 3:25 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1846

    I also noticed the City did away with the "future infrastructure" add on for the water, sewer and electricity rates. They simply rolled them into the bill as a total. What happened to all the money that was collected before they decided to hide it on our bills. Most likely went into a "general fund" and long ago been spent on everything they wanted and now they need it, is GONE and they are forcing homeowners to buy the meters that the City will own. Something stinks here.....

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 2:59 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1846

    I feel like such a fool. In the 40+ years I sold construction supplies to contractors I never thought about billing them for materials that I was going to provide "sometime in the future". Gotta admit, I missed that concept completely. Placing a pre-lien clause on a property means that if the total for the water meter isn't paid, the City has the right to enact the lien. confiscate and sell the home to settle the debt. A debt the homeowner was FORCED to incur. Pretty CS way of conducting business, even for a government agency.

     
  • Jackson Scott posted at 1:22 pm on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 386

    I laughed last week when I got my bill and read about the lien. I knew about the associated costs of placing & removing the liens, but did not know it would add up to such a large amount.

    A lien will also have to be cleared up to get a new loan, sell your home, etc. Liens are common during construction of a home or even a big remodel, but a $300 water meter? I too question the many legal questions. Perhaps the LNS can interview Mr. Schwabauer?

     
  • roy bitz posted at 11:13 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 499

    It would be good to know how other California cities bill their water customers for state mandated water meters.
    It would also be good if our city attorney would confirm the management and legal costs associated with placing liens on property owners then removing them later.
    I hope the city council will tell us why they won't fund this project the same way they are funding the forty million dollar Lodi's bridge to nowhere---the "treat and drink" surface water treatment plant. Why not--sell bonds then repay the bond holders over time.
    What a mess indeed!

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:54 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    So as I understand this, the COL is FORCING residents to "purchase" a piece of equipment and then placing a lien on our properties to ensure that we pay for something we had no choice in obtaining in the first place?

    Curious to know what legal authority the city has to do this...Anyone?

     
  • Macie McKinstry posted at 10:38 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Macie McKinstry Posts: 2

    On the City's FAQ page, it does say once the 3 years has been paid the lien will be removed at no cost to the homeowner....hence, they will have to pay to remove it. The whole thing is a mess and so are the streets that they are working on and doing what they are to add lines or the meters. They are making a mess of tis town and paying more for it in the end.

     
  • Macie McKinstry posted at 9:18 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Macie McKinstry Posts: 2

    The City of Lodi is going to waste more money recording and withdrawing these "liens" they are going to, in my opinion, cowardly placing on peoples proprerty for a mere $300.00 in water meter costs then to just trust its citizens to make the monthly payments. To put this in perspective: to record a 1 page document it costs $14.00, so their estimate of 9,047 homeowners who will pay the monthly fee will cost them approximately $126,658.00 dollars to just record the liens. Now once all these people have paid their 3 years, it will cost the City $13.00 per lien to retract, approximately another $117,611.00 dollars. Not to mention the man hours it will take to complete these Lien documents. So the City is willing to pay $244,269.00 or more to "ensure and protect" that everyone will pay their whopping 8 dollars a month, which with the interest will only make the City as shown below $88,529.00. Seems to me someones calculators in the City Counsel and those people we vote for must be broken or are "loaded" like cheating dice. Why not just lower the fee on these ridiculous water meters so no one would have to option this "monthly fee" and save yourselves the time, effort and money of having to waste on these Liens, that even though dont show up on your credit, will effect your property!!

     
  • Dave Christy posted at 8:30 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Dave Christy Posts: 27

    I recieved my threatening letter from The City of Lodi. If you do not pay by June 30th 2011 the city will place a lien on your property. Hasn't this become a wonderful city to live in. Place a lien on my property for $ 300.00 for an item we don't want or need, give me a break. I for one will consult with my attorney whenever anybody liens my property. We have some very ambitious Empire building leaders throwing our tax dollars around on electrical generating and water processing plants that are at least 30 years pre-mature, and if the business and living climate in California do not change soon these boondoggles will never have to go on line. When you recieve your threatening letter from The City of Lodi, file it in the trash where it belongs.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:31 am on Wed, Apr 6, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    13,174 x 6.72 = $88,529.28 Just why is Lodi "taxing" those who can't pay the $300 up front and disguising it with a 1.5% interest rate? Won't that charge be included in the utility bill, like the surcharges for the ground pollution, wastewater, etc.? Since this will be included with the water billing portion of the bill, why would there be a "tax" or interest rate tacked on? Public works director Mr. Sandelin makes that $6.72 "tax" sound like a small amount of money, but 13,174 of those $6.72 amounts to $88, 529.28, doesn't it? Where will this extra slush money go? Why would this corrupt council and public works director charge interest on Lodians water bill rate? There was no "tax", interest rate or surcharge on the ECA for electric, ground contamination, wastewater, water or garbage when they were included in Lodi utility bills in the past, so why the 1.5% interest "tax" on state mandated water meter bills? Shouldn't the state be paying that interest "tax" since they were the ones that mandated water meters before 2025 and Lodi is nearly 15 years early? Where does that $88K go council andd public works?

     
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