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East Lathrop faces 33 a month hike in water, sewer bills
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LATHROP – The City of Lathrop is facing a Catch-22 when it comes to their municipal water supply.

According to a report that was presented to the Lathrop City Council Monday night, the number of customers that the city has billed over the course of the last year has increased – meeting projections that were laid out a year ago – but the amount of water used across the board has decreased.

The result led to decreased revenues, even after staff adjusted expenses for fiscal year 2009-10 to meet debt covenants. The shortcoming led a $400,000 draw from reserves at the end of that fiscal year.

And it looks like customers might be the ones picking up the shortfalls.

City staffers are recommending that the council approve rate increases for both water and sewer to cover the cost of unforeseen repair expenditures and debt service to outstanding obligations.

Staff is recommending an increase of $9-a-month for East Lathrop residents starting in 2012 – bringing the monthly water rates to $55. An additional increase of $5 will be added in 2013 in approved, bringing the total to $60-a-month.

Residents west of I-5 will see the same monthly increases over the two-year span to have their rates increase to $46-a-month and $51-a-month, respectively.

And to cover the cost of repairs to the aging sewer system, staffers are also recommending an increase in the monthly fees to help offset the costs of unforeseen repairs that weren’t part of the regularly scheduled maintenance that was included in the budget.

If approved, East Lathrop residents would see their bills increase $9 to $61-a-month in 2012, and $10 in 2013 to bring it to $71 a month. Those living west of I-5 could see their bill increase $7 in 2010 to $55-a-month, and $8 to bring it to $63 a month in 2013.

The matter was continued to the next Lathrop City Council meeting, being held on Monday, March 21.