BY DONNA WESTFALL
We were recently contacted by a citizen to write about DA Jon Alexander brandishing his gun in the Safeway parking lot; and about a probation officer having a painkiller dependency. However, those articles take some time investigating the people involved, witnesses, dates and more. It will take some time before we can put that together.
Today we’re going to relate a story about Palm Springs. Tuesday night, February 19th, I attended the Crescent City Council meeting and spoke during public comment that Palm Springs is doing a $67 million expansion of their system over 50 years old. They currently charge $10.36/month for sewer service. Their current rate has been at that rate since 1993 and is one of the lowest rates in California. THE AVERAGE RATE IN OUR STATE IS $40/MONTH. Crescent City charges around $70/month.
Now, even though Palm Springs has already done $12 million worth of work, the City Council did not approve the rate increase and requested that the issue be deferred to a later date. They did their Prop 218 protest vote and a majority of the protest did not occur. Yet, their City Council still decided to postpone any rate increases for the time being.
Should their council decide to raise rates, then it proposed to increase to $20/month over a 5-year period and an increase of $1/month annually over the subsequent 15 years to a maximum monthly sewer rate of $35 by 2031.
That’s a far cry from doubling our rates in a 4 year time span. And now, the city has admitted a $800,000+ shortfall. How is that even possible? It’s time to have them open up the books and offer detailed explanations.
How much have they collected from developers? Where is that money? Why did they tell me that Willdan was responsible for the expansion component of 11.8% and then say that Willdan is a financial outfit not an engineering outfit. Have the developers paid their fair share and has the 11.8% expansion been reached?