Water and Sewer Rates Increase Again!

By Kim Lefner

Are you aware that your water and sewer rates are increasing this month? This isn’t just a one-time increase; your rates will increase every July until 2018 thanks to the vote in February 2010 of the previous council majority. Council members Sam Allevato and Laura Freese joined Mark Nielsen in raising your water rates 40% + last year and approved the on-going automatic increases. 

Sewer fees will increase 5% every year until 2014. Water rates will increase 3% every year until 2015, when the increase will continue at 2% until 2018.

Despite the increase in water rates last year, the water enterprise still generated a deficit of $8.1 million for the year ending June 30, 2011. 

As a result of the compounding rate increases, the cost of water will soar from a baseline of $1.152 million in 2010 to an astounding $9.152 million in 2017! This increase if not modified, will make water so expensive that few will be able to afford to maintain any turf or landscape on their property. Is this the future for San Juan Capistrano?

It will certainly happen unless we can cause the City Council to reconsider its water management strategy. 
In addition to the water and sewer fee increases, the “Service Charge” fees will also increase by 5.7% in 2011 and 17.1% in 2012 for a total increase of a whopping 27.8%.

Our sewer system remains in poor condition as evidenced by a video inspection of some sewer pipelines this year. We always seem to playing catch-up with our current city staff; our cost of living continues to rise while our level of service is decreasing. It makes our Federal government appear tame in comparison. Isn’t it time for some drastic change? 

Join us at our CCS Happy Hour (visit our website for details: www.ccsense.com) or contact us at eboard@ccsense.com to find out what you can do to derail the Council’s out of control tax-and-spend schemes. Contact your council members at: cityclerk@sanjuancapistrano.org to let them know how you feel.

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