New Sewer rates take effect February 1, 2022

Press Release
Contact: Don Reynolds, City Manager

The City’s new sewer rates go into effect February 1, 2022. Below is the Sewer Rate Schedule on Ordinance 2021-05, adopted by the City Council December 21, 2021. A notice is being sent in English and Spanish to all residents informing them of this action in the January billing. The first bill to include the new rates will arrive the first week in March.

New Schedule of Sewer Rates

Residential (was $83.61)
Monthly Fixed Rate $95.62 $109.01 $124.27 $141.67 $148.75

Min. Monthly Rate $95.62 $109.01 $124.27 $141.67 $148.75

Volumetric Rates ($/1,000 Gal)
$14.51 $16.54 $18.86 $21.50 $22.57

The new rates include the estimated capital improvement costs to build a 6-mile sewer force main to Hollister. When completed, the City will no longer be treating water,  just collecting and conveying it to the Hollister wastewater treatment plant. This is the first time in more than 20-years, that the City has increased its rates to include capital improvements. These improvements will transform the way the City manages its wastewater, improve the quality of life for its residents by reducing the odor caused by the current sewer treatment system in the City, and cause the City to become complaint with EPA standards removing its effluent discharge from the creek. The City’s current wastewater treatment plant does not have the capacity to remove chloride or sodium from its treated water (salts). It has been discharging effluent treated water with too much salt for more than two decades. By selecting this EPA “Compliance Project” in October 2020, the City committed to transforming the way it manages the community’s wastewater; forever.

The revenues received will first be used to reimburse the City’s General Fund Reserve for costs incurred since February 2021 to design the project. The City has encumbered $990,000 in a contract awarded to Stantec to design the system, complete environmental studies, and acquire right-of-way. Now the system design is 90% complete. Revised cost estimates included as part of the rate study are estimated to be $18 million. The approved rates are based on the $18 million being split with $6 million in State and Federal Grants, and $12 million in low interest infrastructure loans. The new rate revenue will then be used to pay for the anticipated annual debt service on $12 million dollars over 30-years of $477,000.

This is the first step in a two-step process. The City has launched a second-rate study to examine the cost of importing drinking water that is less hard, and less salty. If approved, this water imported from the West Hills Treatment Plant, will transform the drinking water in the City and further improve the quality life for residents.

If you have any questions or concerns about these important changes, please feel free to check the City’s web-site at this location:

Email the City Manager Don Reynolds at 


Call City Hall at (831) 623-4661.

If, due to the impact of COVID 19, you are having trouble paying your utility bills, you may be eligible to participate in a City-sponsored County Utility Bill Assistance Program. These City COVID Grant funds can be used to pay for utility bills as far back as three months. A County Public Health and Human Services representative, Nora Jimenez, is taking applications at the Carl Martin Luck Library every Thursday morning, from 11 A.M. - 1 P.M., or call (831) 637- 9293. The City has to spend these funds quickly, or it may have to return them for re-programing to a different use.