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Council To Decide On Rate Hike
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The Oakdale City Council will decide at its scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 4 whether or not to raise rates to pay for a 13 million loan for its waste water systems plant.

In August 2012, the city advised the State Water Resources Control Board it did not have funds available to make a $844,804 payment which was due at the end of the month.

In order to avoid default, the city proposed a revised debt service schedule to the SWRCB.

The city was notified that its payment modification request was approved subject to certain

conditions,  including  the  City  adopting  and  collecting  the  necessary  rate  increases  to stabilize the Sewer Enterprise Fund and meet the terms of the financing agreement.

On July 15, 2013, the Council initiated the Proposition 218 process to implement the proposed water and sewer rate increases.  Proposition 218, approved by California voters in 1996, requires voter approval prior to the implementation of certain categories of taxes, assessments, fees, rate and charges. The city's proposed water and sewer rate increases are subject to the majority vote protest procedure if 50 percent plus one of the affected rate payers vote no, the council cannot proceed with consideration of the rates.

As of Nov. 1, the city only received 73 protests from its over 7,000 users.

At a July 15 council meeting, Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said the city’s rate structure was not providing sufficient revenue and rates had not been applied properly.

The city is proposing rates to increase 10 percent in July of this year, 8 percent next July, and 5 percent in July 2015.

Look to the Nov. 6 edition of The Leader for the full story about the meeting.