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Proposed changes to sewer rates in Arvin

If approved, the rates will be in effect beginning July 1st
Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 03, 2024
  • Video shows how a new bill could potentially increase sewer charges for homeowners in Arvin.
  • City officials say the it's been over seven years since the last sewer charge increase and that it is necessary to replace outdated equipment.
  • The bill will be discussed during City Council's on May 14th where community members will have the opportunity to express their concerns.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Soon, property owners in the city could see an increase in their mortgage payments. This is due to a proposed bill to increase water and sewer charges beginning this summer.

That's the sound of water being treated at the Arvin Treatment Plant. According to city officials, some of the equipment at this facility is has not been replaced since 1989 which led them to propose an increase to the sewer rate charge—something they say they haven't done in over seven years.

"The cost of living has caught up with us," said City Manager Jeff Jones, "so we need to get the plant on a physical sustainability for revenue and then we have to have some additional money for capital so we can repair some of our sewer lines that are over 50 years old."

According to their annual rate path, if the bill were to pass, single-family homeowners' existing rate would increase by $77 starting July 1st.

But it's not just sewer charges that will increase if this bill passes, Real Estate Broker Fernando Contreras says homeowners in Arvin could expect an increase in their mortgage payment.

"The way it works for mortgages sometimes they include the principle, the interest, the taxes, and the insurance, so the taxes obviously go up, then the whole overall payment is going to go up a certain amount," explained Contreras. "It's not going to be huge, but for some families, it might be."

Contreras added that taxation is a necessary evil especially when it comes to city infrastructure, like the outdated equipment at the water treatment plant.

The annual adjustment would continue until July 2028 and may remain in effect until superseded by the city council. According to Jones, a monthly neighboring utility comparison shows that the sewer rates in the city are in line with other communities.

"When we do our increase, we'll be maybe five percent above cities and that's without having their additional increases," said Jones.

The proposed bill is scheduled to be discussed during City Council's meeting on May 14th where community members will be able to share their concerns.


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