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Bakersfield City Council approves water service fee increase

The city says the 5 percent fee increase, which will be used to cover maintenance costs for sewer and water treatment facilities, will amount to about $11 dollars a year per customer.
water treatment plant (file)
Posted at 10:47 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 02:14:03-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield City Council has adopted a resolution for residential and commercial sewer user fees to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the city's wastewater treatment plants, wastewater sewer, and storm sewer. Gregg Strakaluse, Director of Bakersfield Public Works explains the reasoning behind the increase and shares when the city expects to put it into effect.

"It's a standard cost of living increase tied to the Consumer Price Index, so it's about 4 to 5 percent," said Strakaluse. "It equates to about $11 dollars per year."

According to the City of Bakersfield, the increase for the residential and commercial sewer flat rate will be from roughly $221 to $231 based on the December of 2022's CPI of about 5 percent.

Strakaluse says the proposed rates will go into effect on July 1, 2023, and annual Consumer Price Index adjustments will take effect every year on July 1 from this year through 2026.

According to Strakaluse, thanks to the work of city administration, Bakersfield's rates will remain one of the lowest among comparable cities.

"There's a lot of reasons, but probably the most important one is because the public works staff who provide the service do an exceptional job doing that, and the city council has done a really great job looking out to the future to know what services are going to be needed for this community," said Strakaluse.

The City of Bakersfield says that each year, it will continue to review revenue requirements to fund operating and capital projects needs in order to determine if the maximum authorized rates are necessary.

The city will also keep the community informed of the status of its sewer enterprise fund needs over the next 4 years, and will also notify the council of rate adjustments before the effective date of the adjustment.