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May 27, 2018
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City of RP Updates

Don Schwartz
Providing a cost effective sewer system
April 20, 2018

In our recent community survey, 86 percent of residents indicated satisfaction with the city’s sewer service. Working sewers are easy to take for granted – we put stuff down the drain and since it pretty much always goes away, we don’t have to think about it much. 

To provide a cost-effective sewer system, we have connected Rohnert Park’s system to Santa Rosa’s wastewater treatment plant. This allows us to save money through economies of scale by sharing one larger plant rather than having two of them. 76 percent of the operating costs for our sewer services come from the Santa Rosa wastewater treatment plant. Unfortunately, the costs to operate the plant are increasing due to its age and increasing regulatory requirements for environmental protection. We need to increase our sewer rates to cover those costs, which we expect to increase more than the general rate of inflation. Thus, we are proposing to increase rates for operating costs by 3 percent per year for the next five years

Additionally, like most things, our sewer system does not take care of itself. We need to maintain it regularly to ensure that the drains will always work. That maintenance includes investing in major capital improvements to keep the pumps pumping and the lines open. And, of course, doing these things costs money and those costs increase over time. Thus, to ensure that the sewer infrastructure remains in good shape, we are proposing to add a capital preservation charge that would start at $2 per month and gradually increase to $10 per month by July 2022 (increasing $2.00 each year for five years). Ensuring we have safe, reliable utilities including our sewer system is one of the most basic yet important things the city does for our residents. To ensure that this system remains in good shape we believe that these rate increases are necessary. The city council will consider the increases at the upcoming April 24 meeting. These increases would be the first in three years. Rohnert Park’s rates would remain among the lowest in the region, even after the increases. 

If the council approves the increases, they will take effect on bills issued after June 1st.

Spreckels Performing Arts Center continues to offer first-rate, Broadway style entertainment at a fraction of the cost. From May 4-20, we are pleased to offer “Peter Pan,” truly a classic piece of theater. We invite residents to come and see the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell and Peter himself in person. Some of our recent “South Pacific” shows sold out, so get your tickets soon at the box office between noon and 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, or on line at www. Spreckelsonline.com.