In the News

Water Rates In The City of Santa Cruz

Gary Patton, Land Use Report, KUSP, 9/18/14

Get ready to be charged more! The City of Santa Cruz Water Department is planning to raise your water rates. Customers affected include not only businesses and residents in the City of Santa Cruz, but also businesses and residents in the Live Oak and Pasatiempo areas, and in parts of the City of Capitola. There will be a Public Hearing before any rate increase is adopted, and I’m giving you a “heads up,” so you can mark your calendars if you’d like to attend and be heard. The hearing on the proposed water rate increase will be held during the regular meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council, at 7:00 p.m. next Tuesday, September 23rd.

One reason for the proposed rate increase is the current drought. Most of the costs of producing water are fixed costs, so when the amount sold goes down (as it does during a drought), rates per unit have to go up, to pay for the fixed costs.

Beyond those drought-related increases, the City also proposes to raise water rates 10% per year for the next five years. As you may remember, the City has recently expended about $7 million dollars for a desalination plant project that the Council has now shelved. That spending depleted the City’s capital reserves. How much of an increase, and how to allocate the charges, are topics for discussion and debate. If you’d like to take part, don’t forget that meeting next Tuesday!

More Information:

Land Use Links

Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog

City of Santa Cruz Website

City Council Agendas

Website Explanation of Rate Change Proposal

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