Galt residents could be paying a dollar less on their combined utilities if the city council approves rate changes in the new year.
The city sent notices last week of the proposed rate adjustments. A public meeting will be held next month with city council approval anticipated for February.
New rates would go into effect March 1.
Mayor Barbara Payne said she is happy the city is looking at an overall reduction.
"We are able to do so due to the good management of the finances and that of the staff," she said.
It is the goal of the city to collect only the rates needed to cover the service, she said.
"Funds collected are returned to the ratepayers whenever possible, just as they have to be raised when needed to comply with state regulations and maintain the facilities," Payne said.
For example, the state regularly increases water treatment regulations and passes the cost on to cities. In the past, Galt has had to deal with eradicating higher arsenic levels, and the city raised rates last year to meet that demand.
This year, residential flat-rate water fees could increase by about 3 percent, or 89 cents per month. But sewer rates could go down 6.5 percent, or $3.12.
The actual rates will be decided by the city council.
Under the proposed maximum garbage rates, however, there will be a hike. Residents will see a 5-percent increase, while commercial ratepayers could pay 4.5 percent more per month.
That amount is set by a franchise agreement with California Waste Recovery Systems.
The current year's combined residential utility rates went up by 61 cents when only five people protested the small bump last winter. If a majority of property owners protest, the city cannot increase rates.
Citizens can protest any or all of the proposed rate adjustments. Written and signed protests must be received by the City Clerk's office, 380 Civic Drive, prior to the public hearing on Feb. 7. Emails will not be accepted.
The public meeting to discuss rates and receive customer input is scheduled for 6 p.m., Jan. 24 in the Police Community Room, 455 Industrial Drive, Galt.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.