City of Chico talking to Cal Water about selling the sewer system – get ready for rates to go up no matter what happens

25 Apr

Let me set the tone of my life – my sixteen year old dog Biscuit is dying, my vet is out of town, so I’m sitting here with her, waiting for the ball to drop. ‘Scuse me if I’m a little bitchy and distracted these days.

Here’s Biscuit snooping out a pile of bum trash in Bidwell Park.

She’s been my right arm for years, my snoop sister, my beee-atch. You’ve seen that old bumper sticker – “The more I know people, the more I love my dog…”

But life goes on, that’s for fucking sure. Just when you think you can let it all go in grief, you find out, that’s exactly when people will take advantage. In fact, you know what I’ve learned from my canine friends? You ALWAYS need to be paying attention!

And thanks to Frank and Greg for kicking me in the ass with this news – the city of Chico is talking to Cal Water about selling the sewer.

Read Cal Water’s proposal, they want to buy the sewer treatment system. What does that mean? For one thing, Cal Water can raise rates with nothing more than the tacit and slam dunk approval of the California Public Utility Commission.

The other thing that occurs to me is that the city must be in a heap of deep shit to have to sell the sewer facility. Come on – sewers and dumps are a gold mine, people have to pee/shit and throw out their trash, that’s just a given. So why sell something like that unless you have so mismanaged your resources you can’t hold onto them anymore?

The sewer has had financial problems for years. When he was still on city council, Mark Sorensen pointed out that the sewer fund was being eaten by salaries and benefits of employees that had absolutely nothing to do with managing anybody’s waste. Staffers have called for one rate increase after another, lately they’ve been talking about a “volume” charge – based on the amount of water the customer takes from Cal Water. That would include water that doesn’t go into the sewer – assuming you still have a lawn or garden to water, you’d be paying for that too.

And then there’s the Paradise deal – they want to hook up to our sewer system, meaning $$$$ – shouldn’t that deal be with the city of Chico? You don’t elect the CPUC, you don’t elect the Cal Water board, but you elect your council. I know that’s a thin line, but it’s better than nothing.

Talk to your district representative, tell them this deal stinks.

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