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Pleasanton council advances process to increase water service rates

Original post made on Jul 21, 2023

The Pleasanton City Council green-lit the first step in the process to raise water service rates, starting at a proposed 30% increase effective in November -- a move city officials say is necessary to rebuild the city's water fund...

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 12:53 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by DM
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 21, 2023 at 1:35 pm

DM is a registered user.

Dint Zone 7 increase water cost by $0.32 on Feb 1 2023 ? Also dint we pay the increased drought rates over the past several years ? Now that we are no longer in drought - instead of the rates coming down they want to increase it ? This sounds like absolute mismanagement - why is it that water rates have to increase so rapidly in such a short time. if you consider the increase of Feb1 2023 which was ~ 9% already, then by Jan 1 2026 the total rate increase will be an atrocious 90 % in just 3 years. (Ref calculation = 1.09 (Feb 2023)*1.30(Nov 2023)*1.20(Jan 2025)*1.12(Jan 2026) = Total of 1.90 = 90% increase from Start of 2023 to Start of 2026 (in 3 Years) Also the astoundingly higher drought water rates we paid during the drought - where did that go ? (Did Zone 7 dig new wells or build new reservoirs ?) Other than passing on all the costs to the consumers - what is the City and Zone 7 doing to fix the management of water resources so that costs come down and quality increases ?

Posted by BF
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 21, 2023 at 9:06 pm

BF is a registered user.

I agree DM. If we need to pay now for the mistakes of the past, so be it. But everyone associated with water management in the last 5 years needs to lose their jobs.

Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 22, 2023 at 1:04 am

keeknlinda is a registered user.

The city's version is that drought rates, cost of living increases, and Zone 7 pass-through increases don't count toward the amount charged for Pleasanton water. Ratepayers figure an increase is an increase, and when you add sewer charges on top of it, our utility bills have been increasing.
Zone 7 is actively working on a pipeline project to make use of some of the Chain of Lakes water and improve water resources as well as a PFAS project that is near completion.
Drought rates were relatively minor, and are no longer in affect. The money went in part to pay for the water we have to buy from Zone 7 that we could have pumped if we had fixed our pumps and addressed PFAS in our own wells. Those projects are hugely expensive and there isn't money to do them even with this increase. We still have to borrow. The choice is borrow from ourselves at 1.25% or with a market rate, 5% loan borrowing elsewhere.
They haven't mentioned that because they give customers who use less than 20 units a reward for conserving by not charging them ANY for those first 20 units. 55% of the 20,000 customers use less than 20 units. So no matter what the rate is, the city is only collecting 45% of what its water rate is. That will be changing, and is a part of why reserves have been so decimated.

Posted by vp
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2023 at 6:55 pm

vp is a registered user.

If you read the 97 page consultant report. On the very last page is the comparison of Pleasanton's current rate charged to us, which is 39c (20-40ccf for distribution).

This Pleasanton charge is going to $2.98 next year, $4.21 in 2025 and $6.37 in 2025, which equates to a 1500% increase for Pleasanton (6.37-0.39)/ (0.39).

Even my child can do the basic math and see that above is a 900% to 1500% increase in Pleasanton’s rates AND revenues.

If passed, without any scrutiny (as it appears to be the case), this would be like a windfall from heaven, 15 years worth of revenues and manna from heaven in 1 year. 45 years worth in 3 years (and continuing on for eternity). Forget cost of living increases. This is Arab sheik Palace with huge yacht and Airbus jet kind of money.

Don’t be fooled by the supposed hardship and “only 30%” (which is actually a 75% increase). This is “true” only if you count Zone7’s $4/ unit charges, as part of their “increase” calculations.

Pleasanton’s brazen attempt as increasing their “take “( from 39c -> $6.37 / unit) is way way higher. They will be swimming in our money, having drawn the wool over our eyes by claiming (and passing) an “only 30%”increase.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 22, 2023 at 7:32 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The four-vote majority on the Pleasanton city council is a Kakistocracy council majority.

Winston Churchill once said that "democracy is the worst form of government-except for all others that have tried."

Posted by LanceM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2023 at 1:17 pm

LanceM is a registered user.

I'm confused. Several places in this article say that water prices have not increased in 3 years. Yet from 9/16/21 "During its regular meeting Sept. 7, the city council unanimously approved an increase of up to $11.60 for residents on their bimonthly water bills." Sure seems like an increase to me.

Posted by LanceM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2023 at 1:19 pm

LanceM is a registered user.

Also wondering why the headline isn't "Water prices to increase by 75% by 2025" - is PW trying to hide this fact?

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