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Santa Barbara Council to Weigh Rate Hikes for Water, Sewer and Trash Services
The Santa Barbara City Council will decide during a public hearing Tuesday whether to increase utility fees.
The city is considering a 3.5 percent increase for water service and usage fees, a 10 percent increase for sewer rates and a 2.69 percent increase for all trash rates.
If approved, the higher fees — a few dollars more monthly for average residential customers — would go into effect July 1 along with the rest of the 2012-13 budget.
Water rate increases would go toward replacing water mains, rehabilitating the recycled water filtration system and maintaining the treatment facility, according to a staff report.
Sewer, or wastewater, fees are going up 6 percent because of a lawsuit settled with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, which resulted in an agreement to pay for an extra $5 million in sewer line replacement over the next five years. That’s on top of the planned 4 percent increase to pay for an ongoing capital program.
The Tajiguas Landfill is charging higher “tipping fees” for trash loads to be dropped off, and the city is paying more for its contract with MarBorg Industries, leading to the proposed fee hikes for solid waste collection.
MarBorg and the city are in negotiations for a new contract, and if agreed to, MarBorg would waive the 1.38 percent Consumer Price Index raise for 2013, according to the staff report.
Tuesday’s council meeting will begin at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.
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