City government

City sends Prop. 218 notices for water rate hikes

By From page A5 | January 31, 2013

All property owners in Davis likely will begin receiving Proposition 218 notices from the city of Davis in the mail starting Thursday. The notices announce an upcoming public hearing at which the City Council plans to adopt higher water rates.

The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

To pay for the Woodland-Davis surface water project — which is the subject of a March 5 mail-only election — the city needs to approve a five-year rate schedule that will triple the average water bill by 2018. The $113 million water project would pump water from the Sacramento River, treat it and pipe it to Davis and Woodland, largely replacing each city’s ground water supply.

According to the city, rates will approximately double in the next five years without the water project, with the money going toward maintenance of deteriorating groundwater wells.

Under state law, the city must provide property owners with 45 days of notice prior to the public hearing. Davis residents who oppose the rates can submit written protests to the city by the date of the public hearing.

All protests must include the full name of the property owner, a signature, the address of the property in question and what rates specifically are being protested. The written protests can be turned in to the city clerk’s office at City Hall.

To overturn the rate hike, more than half of the property owners in Davis must protest the rates. There are approximately 16,500 property owners in Davis. In 2011, when the council first attempted to approve rates necessary to pay for the surface water project, about 4,500 ratepayers filed written protest.

The rates were later rescinded by the council after a citizen-driven committee qualified a referendum petition against them.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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