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City of San Luis Obispo proposes increased water, sewer rates

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 02, 2019

People might have to pay more for water and sewer services in one Central Coast city.

The City of San Luis Obispo is looking to increase water and wastewater bills by 5.5 percent once this summer and again next summer.

The average consumer can expect about a $6 increase over the next two years.

The proposed base rate will go up as well as the usage rates.

Since the usage rates are tiered, the more water you use, the more your bill will go up.

The city says it applied a similar rate increase in 2018 and forecasted these proposed hikes in the city’s previous financial budget.

City leaders say the money will be used to improve infrastructure, equipment, maintenance and more since a majority of water services are funding by rate increases.

The city’s utilities director hopes to make water cleaner in the future with these projects.

“Waterline infrastructure around Sierra Vista hospital will be replaced, some of our tank improvements, as well as we are doing a water efficiency project which will have a future benefit at our water drinking facility of actually lowering the amount of energy consumed,” said Aaron Floyd, Utilities Director for the City of San Luis Obispo.

However, some water users say constant increases are tough to keep up with.

“Especially with the cost of living here, being a renter in the area we don’t have a chance to install low flow toilets or monitor our water usage more strictly,” said Paul Swigger, San Luis Obispo resident. “It will be another higher monthly bill we will have to accommodate for.”

You can calculate the cost of your new bill on the city’s utility website.

The utilities department will be holding an open house Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. People can stop by their downtown office at 879 Morro St. to talk to a utility representative to see how these proposed rates will affect individual bills.

Water users have until June 18 to protest the rate increases and they can only be protested by mailing the comment card to the city.