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San Luis Obispo residents could soon see significant increase in water, sewer bills

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Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 19, 2023

San Luis Obispo residents could soon be dealing with a significant increase in their water and sewer bills under a new proposal.

“I think that’s such a bummer,” said Abby Fulton, San Luis Obispo resident.

“It doesn’t seem excessive. I just don’t know if it’s justified,” said Larry Rustigian, San Luis Obispo resident.

“We have people who are struggling for funds, people like college students who are just trying to make it by, and I think that’s something that we could definitely hold off on or not do for a good while,” said Fulton.

The new rates would bring the total monthly bill for a typical single-family home using six units of water per month from $66.66 to $77.01 in July of this year, and to $82.79 in July 2024.

For a single-family home with a sewer cap of five units, their monthly sewer bill will go from $67.84 to $70.78 this July and to $73.62 next July.

The city attributes the increase in cost to commodities and support services related to water and sewer services over the past two years.

“It’s harder to get people to protest than it is to get people to affirm the action,” said Rustigian.

The notice from the city mailed to affected residents, states voters in California in 1996 approved Proposition 218 which essentially regulates fees and charges imposed on residents by local governments. As a result, California agencies have to comply with the requirements of the California constitution when setting utility rates.

Those against the increase are not happy with the way the decision is being made.

“It’s going to be difficult to get people to object and make 50% of the objections count toward this," said Rustigian.

The protest needs to be submitted and received by the City Clerk before the close of the public hearing that will begin at 5:30 pm on June 6.

If adopted the proposed rate increases will become effective on July 1st, 2023, and on July 1, 2024, respectively.