DELANO, Calif. - Delano residents are outraged that the city council is proposing a $15 fee hike for their utility bill that covers their water, street sweeper, sewer, and trash services.
Residents said $15 would only add to their already expensive bill. Delano Mayor Joe Aguirre said the hike is necessary to pay off a $50M debt the city has acquired through a $30M loan for a water treatment plant and $20M the city spent to upgrade their water wells.
Aguirre said the proposal also includes a $10 hike for every year after 2013 until 2018. An opposition group led by Lupe Martinez of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment is collecting signatures to oppose the proposed fee hike. They need 51% of the water clients to sign the petition if they want to stop the city council from taking a vote next Monday.
Aguirre said if they do have enough signatures, they will postpone the vote until all the signatures are verified. He went on to say that if they don't have enough signatures the council will take a vote on the fee hike proposal. If it is voted on and approved the fee hike would be effective in July of this year.