REDDING, Calif. - A proposed increase to utility bills could be coming into effect as early as March for those in Redding.
The Redding City Council is proposing charging higher rates in three areas: the city's water, wastewater and solid waste systems.
City officials say additional funding is needed to repair aging sewer and water infrastructure, especially in the downtown area.
As for where the money would come from, it is between three areas: water, wastewater and solid waste systems.
For solid waste, the proposal looks at a possible 3% increase on the following bill. If voters give the plan the green light, a solid waste fee would go up 12%.
Wastewater and water rates would go up 16% over the next three years.
Officials say a large chunk of money would go to cover inflationary costs increases in things like energy and fuel.
Assistant Director of Public Works Ryan Bailey said charging a little more is necessary if the city is to comply with state law and continue providing reliable services.
"If we don't increase costs, if we don't replace these items, it's just going to be problematic in the future," said Bailey. "We can't 'kick the can', as they say, down the road longer and longer. We need to start looking now and keep those increases at a lower rate as opposed to higher. I've seen some increases of [six to ten] percent increases if you wait longer and longer."
City officials say the increases will only apply to utilities.
Those who are against the proposed rate increases can fill out a form and mail it to the city before Feb. 4.
Additionally, a public meeting will take place on Feb. 4 for those in Redding to weigh in on the proposal.
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