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Public Hearing will determine rate hike proposal

Friday, February 8th, 2013 | Posted by

Water and sewer rates in Cloverdale have not been increased for more than seven years, but if the City Council follows the advice of their consultant, rates are set to increase dramatically beginning in April.

At the Jan. 9 council meeting, Robert Reed of the Reed Group reported his findings and gave his recommendations.

His report suggested a 67% increase in water rates this year, with 5% increases each July for the next three years beginning in 2014. It also suggested a 25% increase in sewer rates beginning in April, with 5% increases each July beginning next year.

For the average household, this would mean an increase from about $55 to about $91 per month.

(See Clark Mason’s story in the Jan. 13 issue of the Press Democrat.)

Late last month, the City sent out a multi-page letter, in both English and Spanish, to approximately 3,500 customers and property owners explaining the situation and inviting them to a special Public Hearing at 6:30 p.m. on March 13 at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd.

In water bills received this week, the City included a second notice about the Public Hearing, with additional information about the reasoning behind their proposal to increase rates.

The last part of their notice gives specific instructions on how citizens opposed to the proposed rate increases can file a formal protest.

v  Protests must be made in writing.
v  Protests must either be submitted by mail or in person to the Deputy City Clerk, 124 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale CA 95425.
v  Written protests must be received (not postmarked) by the Deputy City Clerk before or during the Public Hearing on March 13 at 6:30 p.m.
v  Protests submitted by e-mail or other electronic means will not be accepted.
v  Protests must be signed by the property owner(s) or tenant(s)
v  Protests must include either the assessor’s parcel number(s) or street address(es) of all property(ies) served.

If written protests are received for a majority of the affected parcels, the City will not impose the proposed rate increases.

Additional information regarding the proposed increased charges is available for review during business hours at City Hall. They can also be found online at cloverdale.net.  For questions, call 894-2521.

How do you feel about the proposed rate hike? Do you feel it’s justified? Do you feel it’s too much or just about right? Are you planning to submit a protest letter or will you just let the chips fall where they may? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


  • David

    In my subjective opinion, the only real issue here is the unfortunate fact that, back in 2010 when the master plans were created and the city sought loans for improvements (see article 2 in related posts above), it was already recommend that rate increase 15% per year in the preliminary report (all documents are available at city hall). That recommended rate increase was deferred by the city in 2010 for unknown reasons. I would guess the economic depression. If you do the math, we’d probably be near or at the current proposed rate increase for 2013, had the intitial recommendadtion been approved.

    The only other thing that concerns me is that the city should make it a priority to implement programs that not only reduce the consumption of water and production of waste (including patching that 15% annual water loss hole), but also reuse and recycle the water and waste ‘resources’. Implement a tertiary grey water system. Better manage the bio-solids. Look at more sustainable long term solutions, rather than incremental or stop-gap measures.



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Mary Jo Winter is our Cloverdale correspondent.
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