City of Millbrae to Hold Public Hearing on Utility Rates and Charges
In May, the City of Millbrae mailed letters to more than 9,000 households and business owners notifying them of a public hearing regarding proposed changes to water rates and replacement of the Sanitary System Overflow (SSO) charge with Clean Bay Charges. Taking place on Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 pm, in the City Council Chambers, the public hearing will allow community members to share their thoughts and sentiment on the proposed rate changes, and give them an opportunity to hear more about why the additional funding is needed.
Over the past five months, the City has held a series of workshops to educate the public about the deteriorating state of Millbrae’s water infrastructure and the impact of the increase in wholesale water rates by the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC). Since 2013, the SFPUC has increased the City’s wholesale water rates by 67%. Because these rate increases have not been passed on to residents, funding reserves that pay for the system’s operations, repairs and upgrades have been depleted, and are forecast to run out by 2019.
The City is proposing a rate increase that would be phased in over the next five years. This increase would pay for wholesale rate increases and provide enough funding to pay for necessary system maintenance and improvements. An average residential account would see an increase of $20.00 per month ($40 in bi-monthly bills) from the current rate. After the initial increase, rates would increase more gradually over five years.
Through the utility rate change notice, the City is also seeking public comment regarding changes to the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Charge (SSO), a $23.90 charge that was passed in 2015 to pay for maintenance and improvements to the City’s sewer and wastewater system. A new Clean Bay Fee would replace the SSO by modifying the methodology used to charge customers. Under the proposed changes, residential and small business customers are expected to see their bi-monthly bills reduced initially, while larger commercial and industrial customers are expected to pay more.
To learn more about the proposed utility rate changes and the public hearing, please visit http://www.ci.millbrae.ca.us/proposedratechanges.