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Cambria raises water and sewer rates 

After receiving an insufficient number of protests, Cambria approved a water and sewer rate increase on Oct. 4 amid a turbulent time for the district.

Even though the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) received 1,268 Proposition 218 protests against the rate increases, it was 700 shy of meeting the 50 percent-plus-one threshold to successfully protest the changes. Starting on Nov. 1, the increases for water, sewer, and the sustainable water facility will go into effect over the course of three years.

click to enlarge WATER RISING Cambria residents can expect water and sewer rate increases starting Nov. 1. - FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • File Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • WATER RISING Cambria residents can expect water and sewer rate increases starting Nov. 1.

At the Oct. 4 special meeting, CCSD board member Harry Farmer said that he comprehends the community's frustration with the district.

"I totally understand how people in this community are feeling, because in the past it would appear that your money has not been spent wisely and you really have had no knowledge as to how your money has been spent," Farmer said. "I would hope people see that we are at [more of] a turning point at this district than we have ever been before."

The decision came at a difficult time for the district as it let go of its general manager, Jerry Gruber, last month; filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against CDM Smith for what it alleges are damages and bad equipment stemming from the construction of the sustainable water facility; and gears up for new district board members at the upcoming November election.

According to the staff report, the rate increases are designed to phase in capital improvement funding over three years and help restore balanced budgets with the assumption that the sustainable water facility will be in operation for two months of each year on average.

The current $13.79 residents pay for water will increase to $16 on Nov. 1, $17.45 in July 2019, and $18 in July 2020. They pay a sustainable water facility charge of $6.50 that would increase to $8 in November, $9.04 in July 2019, and $10.13 in July 2020. The sewer payment will go up from $30.29 to $35.74 in November, $41.10 in July 2019, and $46.03 in July 2020.

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