Wastewater bills are going up: The Lodi City Council approved raising wastewater rates by 3 percent in a unanimous vote, with Councilman Phil Katzakian absent.
For a three-bedroom house, that means rates will go from $40.78 to $42 starting on July 1.
City staff recommended the 3-percent increase, even though the council had scheduled a 5-percent increase in its four-year rate plan passed in 2009.
Staff said that cost of living adjustments were lower than expected, and there are no expected additional improvements in the city's next wastewater permit.
Mayor JoAnne Mounce said she voted for the increase because it was based only on the cost of inflation, which she said are the only types of utility hikes she will support.
Councilmen Larry Hansen and Alan Nakanishi highlighted that the increase will go toward replacing aging infrastructure that has been delayed for years. Hansen pointed out that some of the wastewater pipes are 100 years old.
"I've always felt that our city needs infrastructure," Nakanishi said. "All the cities in our country are neglecting it."
Roget Park construction starting: The council approved moving forward with $543,000 worth of improvements at Roget Park. Plans include a passive park with concrete walkways, bocce courts, horseshoe pits, game tables, security lighting, benches, trash cans and signs.
There also will need to be an automatic irrigation system, hydro-seeded turf, native planting materials and underground utilities.
Councilman Larry Hansen thanked the Roget family for donating the land to the city.
"The public is going to see some activity out there, and when it is all done, we'll have a new park out there," Hansen said.
— Maggie Creamer