The Arroyo Grande City Council is expected to vote on whether to increase the water and wastewater rates or keep them where they’re at.
Tuesday's 6 p.m. meeting will be the first taking place in-person in the city council chambers since the summer. People will be able to view it on the city channel or online.
Arroyo Grande Utilities Manager Shane Taylor, put it this way: “on average, the best way I can put it, these new rates, it’s going to be – and I calculated this, is about a penny a gallon.”
The bill will increase water bills by more than 5% each year starting in April, and continuing through 2026.
City Manager Whitney McDonald said “we’re working on 13 years of the same rates for wastewater. Our water rates were last adjusted in 2019.”
The increase would go to administrative costs, repairs, updates to sewer lines and pipes.
“Unlike other types of businesses, we're required to tell everybody exactly what's going on and why. We're asking for more money and give them an opportunity to protest that if they believe that it's not appropriate. So that's what this process is for,” said McDonald.
People can protest the hike. If the city hears from more than 51% of their customers if they do not want the increase, then the plan cannot go through.
According to the city, people can submit a protest until the conclusion of the hearing via email, dropping a written protest off at City Hall, by facsimile (addressed to the City Clerk), or by mail to the City of Arroyo Grande, also addressed to the City Clerk.
There are requirements, however.
A written protest must contain a statement that the customer protests the Proposed Water and Wastewater Rate Increases, the address or assessor's parcel number of the parcel(s) which receive water service and must be signed by either the owner or the tenant customer of the parcel or parcels. If the person signing the protest is not shown on the last equalized assessment roll of San Luis Obispo County as an owner of the property, the protest must contain, or be accompanied by, written evidence that such person is an owner of the property, or tenant responsible for payment. Protest letters must include the name and signature of the owner, or tenant customer, submitting the protest.
Under the proposed bill, residents would see their water bill rise about $10 each year.
Grover Beach residents currently pay less for water than residents in any other city in San Luis Obispo County at just under $200 every two months.