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Eureka, CA approved 43% water rate increase

By The Times-Standard

Friday, June 03, 2005 -

ARCATA -- The City Council approved a 43 percent water rate increase Wednesday to shore up reserves and a 5.5 percent wastewater rate increase to update the system.

The 43 percent increase will amount to about $5 a month for the average single family residence using about 650 cubic feet, or about 150 gallons of water, a day.

It will generate about $200,000 a year in revenue building funds to help pay for needed upgrades to the city's aging infrastructure, Environmental Services Director Steve Tyler told the council at a previous meeting.

For the past several years, the city's annual increases to water fees have not kept pace with the cost of providing water services. The city's water and wastewater infrastructure is also hitting the 40 to 100 year mark in some cases.

City Council members directed staff to look at developing a voluntary program to generate funding to provide a "lifeline" rate for seniors on a fixed income and very low income residents.

The 5.5 percent rate increase for wastewater will also be used to update the system. The Public Works Department is examining the full costs of future infrastructure improvement needs.