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City of Woodlake reduces charge for sewer services to customers after better than expected revenue

City of Woodlake reduces charge for sewer services to customers after better than expected revenue

By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

WOODLAKE – Residents in Woodlake are not expected to see significant savings in their utility bill starting in July. In fact single family homes will see a savings of only five cents. But the breakdown will be different as sewer rates decline from $61.25 to $59.50. July 1, 2018 will mark the third year in a row sewer rates have declined.

Woodlake city administrator Ramon Lara and community development director Jason Waters say the decrease is the result of better than expected revenues in the sewer fund. When the new water treatment plant was completed in 2013, the City estimated what rates they would charge to repay the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan. Since 2013 revenues have not only been consistent they have been consistently good.

“We felt it was the right thing to [lower rates]. There’s no need to over charge if you don’t have to,” Waters said.

Water rates will continue to go up in July. This summer residents of single family homes will pay an extra $1.70 for water. Almost three years ago Woodlake was forced to increase their water rates over the course of several years to generate enough money to pay off another USDA loan. The loan paid for the water meter project all cities in California are mandated to have by 2020.  The rates also allow the City to increase its water fund for operating cash  and establish reserves for future maintenance and infrastructure projects.

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