Ask questions People! How many sewer rate increase notices did the city send out to people who will not be allowed to vote on the increase? How will this affect the voting process? Notices that are not returned as a protest are registered as a ‘yes’ vote – will they be counting the notices sent to people who can’t vote as ‘yes’ votes?

11 Dec

I had a lot of questions about my sewer rate increase notice, but it seems to me the most important issue is how these notices were distributed and how they will be counted. According to the Community Water Center, only those who receive and pay a sewer bill should have received these notices, and only those people are allowed to vote. Furthermore, notices that are not returned are counted as ‘yes’ votes.

If a property owner or tenant who pays a water bill directly does not submit a written protest, it is
counted as a vote in favor of the increase.
.. If a majority (50% +1) of property owners or tenants who pay a water bill directly within the service district submit written protests at the hearing, the provider cannot raise rates as proposed.

But I received a notice, and I’m not hooked up to sewer, so that led me to wonder – how many notices did they send to non-sewer customers, and will those notices be counted as ‘yes’ votes? I sent an inquiry to the clerk and my council rep earlier this week, and I didn’t get so much as a “received your email…” response. So I wrote a couple of my questions into a letter to the editor.

This whole conversation has been kept behind closed doors for several years now, as part of a further discussion to sell the sewer plant to Cal Water. They’re also discussing hooking Paradise up to our sewer system, which seems somewhat contradictory to claims that our sewer plant is reaching capacity. This rate increase was never part of the sales tax increase discussion, and now they’re trying to shove it through at Christmas?

Something stinks here alright. Wake up and smell the poo-poo Chico.

Merry Christmas – have you received your sewer rate increase notice? City of Chico wants to base your sewer charge on your water usage, at a rate of $1.22 per 100 cubic feet. You already paid $1.52+/ccf, and now the city of Chico wants another $1.22, whether it goes to the sewer or not.

That’s right, they want to double charge you, even for water that will not be processed at the sewer plant – water used to irrigate trees, wash your car, fill your swimming pool or hot tub.

Here’s another problem – the notice system is flawed. The only people who will be allowed to vote on this rate increase are those who are actually receiving sewer service. Then why did I receive a notice when I’m not on sewer? In this process, any property owner noticed who does not return a written protest is counted as a ‘yes’ vote. So, how many notices were sent out to people who will not be allowed to turn in a protest vote? Will those folks be counted as ‘yes’ votes?

I believe the notifications should be resent, and the hearing should be postponed to a later date, giving staff time to answer our questions as required by Prop 218. This is not just a rate increase but a change to the structure of the charge, allowing the city or whomever owns the sewer plant to increase the rate annually without public approval.

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

2 Responses to “Ask questions People! How many sewer rate increase notices did the city send out to people who will not be allowed to vote on the increase? How will this affect the voting process? Notices that are not returned as a protest are registered as a ‘yes’ vote – will they be counting the notices sent to people who can’t vote as ‘yes’ votes?”

  1. bob December 11, 2022 at 8:56 am #

    But didn’t our crooked city council vote to raise the rate over 60% just a couple months ago? So this is on top of that? And of course on top of the sales tax increase.

    These parasites would take every nickel we have if they could. I heard they just gave the cops yet another raise and the sales tax hasn’t even taken effect yet but will before Christmas.

    That’s your Christmas present from this corrupt, bought and paid for city council — making the sales tax increase take effect just in time for Christmas. The pigs can’t even wait until the New Year.

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