EL CERRITO -- The Stege Sanitary District board is considering a five-year service rate increase and wants to hear comments and objections at its public hearing at 7 p.m. June 12 at the district office, 7500 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito.

Plans call for raising the current residential rate of $16.25 a month to $18.33 a month for 2014-15. It would then go to $20.17 a month in 2015-16, $22 per month in 2016-17, $23.67 a month in 2017-18 and $24.50 a month in 2018-19.

The district, which serves El Cerrito and the Richmond Annex, says the increases are needed to bring it in compliance with a consent decree negotiated with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The district is one of eight joint agencies covered by the decree, which it says requires "a comprehensive regional asset management approach which includes an aggressive schedule for collection system rehabilitation."

In addition to the hearing, comments and questions can also be submitted by calling 510-524-4668; sending an email to staff@stegesan.org; or sending a letter to the district at 7500 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

Under state Prop. 218, "If the owners of a majority of the properties in the district object in writing to the proposed rate increase by the start of the hearing, the district cannot approve the change," Stege noted in an announcement.



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