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County opens Los Osos sewer service discount program 

Low-income Los Osos residents who are paying on average nearly $1,000 per year for wastewater service can shave 20 percent off the bill by enrolling in a new county program signed off by the SLO County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 12.

click to enlarge GET THAT DISCOUNT A new county program will provide a 20 percent discount on the annual Los Osos sewer service charge, for a savings of about $200 per year. - FILE PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • File Photo By Dylan Honea-baumann
  • GET THAT DISCOUNT A new county program will provide a 20 percent discount on the annual Los Osos sewer service charge, for a savings of about $200 per year.

Service discounts are available to both property owners and renters in the service area of the Los Osos Wastewater Plant. To qualify, interested parties must demonstrate their participation in either PG&E's CARE or Family Electric Rate Assistance programs, which provide energy discounts to low-income individuals and families.

Once certified as eligible, participants will receive a refund in the mail that's equivalent to up to 20 percent of the annual sewer service charge.

"Owners will be responsible for paying the full amount of services charges due on their annual tax bills, and participants will receive a check for the offset amount at the end of the calendar year," read a county staff report about the program.

The county has identified 227 households that are eligible for the program, but the number of participants is expected to rise as it rolls out. The estimated $39,498 for the program's cost will be funded by the state Department of Water Resources. In 2011, then-state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian introduced AB 1125, authorizing SLO County to administer a Los Osos sewer discount program using outside funds.

According to the staff report, the program will go into effect in the current fiscal year and continue annually until "ended by the Board of Supervisors or the funding amount is depleted."

Applications should be submitted to the county Department of Public Works.

Between the sewer service charge and the capital assessment for the plant's construction, Los Osos households are paying an average of $1,968 per year for wastewater.


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