FRESNO, CA – This evening, City Council approved the Administration’s request to initiate the Proposition 218 process that begins a public review period before Council can vote on new water rates to pay for the City’s amended water infrastructure project. The vote was 7-0.
Based on public comments received during four community water forums and a separate water rate summit, the Administration proposed a new, five-year capital plan totaling approximately $429 million that includes:
• $6.4 m Intentional groundwater recharge
• $98.4 m Raw water supply to bring water to treatment facilities
• $186.4 m Surface water treatment to address groundwater overdraft and quality
• $55.4 m Finished water distribution to Fresno residents and businesses
• $82.5 m Rehabilitation and replacement of older water pipes and wells
With this vote, the City’s Department of Public Utilities staff is authorized to initiate the Proposition 218 hearing process for proposed changes to the schedule of rates, fees, and charges for public service. Ballots will be mailed on December 22nd with an envelope clearly marked with language that states “this includes important information about an increase to your water rates.” Inside there will be written notification describing proposed changes to water rates and a protest ballot card with a self addressed, pre-paid mail reply envelope.
The ballots will be sent to both property owners and tenants, who will have 45 days to return them if they don’t approve of the City’s plan. The City Council will then take up the proposed rate and infrastructure plan for final approval at City Hall on Thursday, February 5th at 5:00PM.