Change in sewer cap gets the OK
Citizens’ concerns prompt RP council to make adjustments
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By Mira Brody  June 27, 2014 12:00 am

The Rohnert Park City Council voted to make adjustments to the water average/sewer cap at its meeting on Tuesday, June 24.

The water average/sewer cap is used to calculate residential water flow, and changes to it have not been made yet because of the drought. This resolution was prompted by numerous residents who had noticed a significant increase in their water and sewage bill.

“In the case of the drought we are in now, there is a requirement for landscaping and other water that goes up…we need to make changes in order to better reflect those costs” Assistant City Manager, Don Schwartz said during his presentation. City Manager Darren Jenkins was not at the meeting.

Under normal circumstances, the city estimates wastewater generated based on the most recent average; data is gathered from December through February. Because Rohnert Park is officially in drought conditions, those averages no longer apply and need to be adjusted for RP residents.

“I appreciate the people who brought this to the city’s attention,” commented Councilwoman Gina Belforte. “It’s really nice that when something significant occurs, that there are those who notice it right away.”

In 2011- 2012, residents used 1.7 million more gallons of water during the winter months than average, which has resulted in higher sewer bills than historically recorded. The vote to lower the sewer cap rates was necessary to accommodate that excess usage. Staff is currently looking into contacting those residents affected as well as discussing whether refunds will be necessary.

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