Sacramento considering fee increase for residents to improve stormwater system

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The city of Sacramento is looking to improve its aging stormwater system, which could mean a fee increase for residents. 

“It’s water. As Californians, we know how important that is and how scarce the resource is,” said resident Trent Starcevich. 

Every drop of water is important for Sacramento resident Starcevich, and when it comes to making sure the city’s stormwater system is in the best condition, he’s onboard. 

“I think it’s something that has to be done,” Starcevich said. 

It comes at a perfect time as the city just received a record-breaking amount of rain from this weekend’s storm, and on Wednesday, the city’s Utilities Rate Advisory Commission will discuss how to repair and maintain the aging system. 

“Protect drinking water, water quality and supplies, keep harmful matter out of rivers and creeks, and also replace aging and deteriorating infrastructure that prevents flooding,” said Carlos Eliason, with the city’s Department of Utilities. 

But the plan comes at a cost for residents. 

“Most single-family homeowners would pay about $6 a month and the measure would generate up to $20 million annual,” Eliason said. 

If passed, residents could see their bill slightly go up by July 2022, and it would be the first time rates would increase since 1996.

For people like Donna Valentine, it’s a small price to pay. 

“I think it’s important, needs to be done, and I would have no problem paying a minimal increase,” Valentine said. 

The city said so far, a majority of residents they have surveyed support the idea. 

“If old pipes or pumps break, floodwater could occur and that’s obviously a concern to public health and safety,” Eliason said. 

Low-income seniors, those with disabilities and residents who have made improvements to reduce stormwater runoff may be eligible for a discount or rebate. Homeowners can also request a visit if they want a reduced fee. 

The city is encouraging residents to participate in public comment at their Wednesday meeting as they consider the fee increase. For information on how to participate, click or tap here. 

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