Paso Robles considering large sewer rate increase

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The city of Paso Robles is considering raising sewer rates by approximately 60 percent over the next four years.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Paso Robles City Council will discuss multiple sewer rate hike proposals. 

One proposal calls for an up-front rate hike of 50 percent that would take effect on July 1 and would be followed by a pair of 5 percent increases on April 1, 2024 and April 1, 2025. Under an alternative phased-in approach, sewer rates would increase by 24 percent on July 1 and then by 8 percent on April 1 of 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025. 

If the city were to approve the phased-in approach, the average monthly residential sewer bill would rise from its current level of $46.80 to $58.20 on July 1. By April 2025, the average sewer bill in Paso Robles would rise to around $75.

City officials are also considering changing the structure of sewer rates in order to add fixed charges. Currently, Paso Robles wastewater customers only pay usage charges.

If the council endorses a rate hike and later formally approves one, ratepayers will have the opportunity to mount a majority protest in order to upend the sewer bill increases.

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