Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

La Mesa sewer rates to jump 7% in 2014, 7% in 2015

For want of some mail

La Mesa  city manager David Witt, mayor Art Madrid, and vice mayor Mark Arapostathis
La Mesa city manager David Witt, mayor Art Madrid, and vice mayor Mark Arapostathis

The 48 protest letters from property owners fell short of the 6451-majority needed to block the sewer-rate increase that the La Mesa City Council approved unanimously on May 14.

Provisions in Proposition 218, which voters passed in 1996, stipulated that utility-rate increases could be stopped by written protests from a majority of property owners.

Some protest letters and speakers at the hearing objected to a 2012 billing change that replaced bimonthly statements with an annual charge on the property-tax bill.

Because of the change to accommodate the Helix Water District billing system, the council voted last year to defer raising rates by 4 percent in 2013, 4.4 percent in 2014, and 5 percent in 2015.

The approximately 30 people at the May 14 hearing included four Boy Scouts from Troop 359 in Spring Valley. Scoutmaster Tim O'Reilly explained that attending a meeting was part of a merit-badge requirement.

The council vote will raise rates by 7 percent in 2014 and 7 percent in 2015 for the average single-family customer. The increase, the first implemented since 2007, changed the $19.88 bimonthly base rate to $23.50 for 2014 and $26.12 in 2015.

Councilwoman Ruth Sterling said she opposed increases in 2012 because the billing change could result in "up to $300 extra on the tax bill" and "residents in La Mesa could just take so much."

Public Works director Gregory Humora said expenditures include the 44 percent of the sewer fund paid annually to the City of San Diego for waste treatment.

Potential liabilities included a Regional Water Quality Board penalty assessed at $948,816 in a December 13, 2012, complaint. The board charged La Mesa with violations on December 21 and 22, 2010, "resulting from the discharge of 1,008,000 gallons of raw sewage to San Diego Bay" and 306,700 gallons into the ocean.

Humora said city staff was negotiating the penalty for the spill caused during a "storm event." He also referenced a City of San Diego plan to allow two plants to purify wastewater for use as tap water, a process opponents call "toilet-to-tap."

Joe Mehuron was among the four residents who spoke. He didn't object to the increase but wanted each person charged the same amount for sewer usage. Mehuron also offered a recommendation about the penalty: "Tell them to go screw themselves; it was an act of God," he said. His remark produced laughter from the audience and glances to check the scouts' reactions.

Scott McMillan spoke about the "wallop when the tax bill comes" and advised the council to consider taking recycled water from the North City plant, "put it into Lake Murray and start drinking it."

When a man asked if he meant "toilet-to-tap," McMillan replied, "Give me a bottle; I'll drink it."

In an interview, Boy Scout Sam Elders said, "I thought a lot of what was discussed was covered in school." The student at Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities said classmates learned about the toilet-to-tap water process and then voted about whether they supported it. "Half voted 'no,’ half voted 'yes,'" he said.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bounce and Twerk: common moves for Megan Thee Stallion and Danyelle “Sweet Dee” Solana

“I use Megan’s music when teaching my classes.”
Next Article

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

Friends from Earthless, The Blank Tapes, Howlin Rain, Warish, and others join in the fun
La Mesa  city manager David Witt, mayor Art Madrid, and vice mayor Mark Arapostathis
La Mesa city manager David Witt, mayor Art Madrid, and vice mayor Mark Arapostathis

The 48 protest letters from property owners fell short of the 6451-majority needed to block the sewer-rate increase that the La Mesa City Council approved unanimously on May 14.

Provisions in Proposition 218, which voters passed in 1996, stipulated that utility-rate increases could be stopped by written protests from a majority of property owners.

Some protest letters and speakers at the hearing objected to a 2012 billing change that replaced bimonthly statements with an annual charge on the property-tax bill.

Because of the change to accommodate the Helix Water District billing system, the council voted last year to defer raising rates by 4 percent in 2013, 4.4 percent in 2014, and 5 percent in 2015.

The approximately 30 people at the May 14 hearing included four Boy Scouts from Troop 359 in Spring Valley. Scoutmaster Tim O'Reilly explained that attending a meeting was part of a merit-badge requirement.

The council vote will raise rates by 7 percent in 2014 and 7 percent in 2015 for the average single-family customer. The increase, the first implemented since 2007, changed the $19.88 bimonthly base rate to $23.50 for 2014 and $26.12 in 2015.

Councilwoman Ruth Sterling said she opposed increases in 2012 because the billing change could result in "up to $300 extra on the tax bill" and "residents in La Mesa could just take so much."

Public Works director Gregory Humora said expenditures include the 44 percent of the sewer fund paid annually to the City of San Diego for waste treatment.

Potential liabilities included a Regional Water Quality Board penalty assessed at $948,816 in a December 13, 2012, complaint. The board charged La Mesa with violations on December 21 and 22, 2010, "resulting from the discharge of 1,008,000 gallons of raw sewage to San Diego Bay" and 306,700 gallons into the ocean.

Humora said city staff was negotiating the penalty for the spill caused during a "storm event." He also referenced a City of San Diego plan to allow two plants to purify wastewater for use as tap water, a process opponents call "toilet-to-tap."

Joe Mehuron was among the four residents who spoke. He didn't object to the increase but wanted each person charged the same amount for sewer usage. Mehuron also offered a recommendation about the penalty: "Tell them to go screw themselves; it was an act of God," he said. His remark produced laughter from the audience and glances to check the scouts' reactions.

Scott McMillan spoke about the "wallop when the tax bill comes" and advised the council to consider taking recycled water from the North City plant, "put it into Lake Murray and start drinking it."

When a man asked if he meant "toilet-to-tap," McMillan replied, "Give me a bottle; I'll drink it."

In an interview, Boy Scout Sam Elders said, "I thought a lot of what was discussed was covered in school." The student at Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities said classmates learned about the toilet-to-tap water process and then voted about whether they supported it. "Half voted 'no,’ half voted 'yes,'" he said.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Hard times for San Diego County cities

Hard times for 17 San Diego County cities
Next Article

More palm greasers’ help wanted

Tom Sudberry, Peter Cooper give to Barbara Bry
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close