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CREATING NEW SEWER SERVICE CHARGES TO REHABILITATE AN AGING SEWER SYSTEM
Author: Steve Huang (City of Redondo Beach), Desi Alverez (City of Downey), Grant E. Hoag, and Lisa Spresney
Date: 6/205
WEF Collection Systems Speciality Conference, 2005

In 2003 the City of Redondo Beach enacted a new sewer service charge of $5 per month for single-family dwellings. The costs of rehabilitating the 112 miles of aging sewers, previously supported by the City general fund, had grown in recent years. With strong public resistance to new charges due to an out-of-sight is out-of-mind attitude, an attempt to implement fee-based funding had failed in 1994. However, with increased regulatory pressures, persuasive needs for funding, and prudent timing of proposed charges, a second funding effort was successful. This paper describes the 11-year effort to fund the sewer system upgrades that spanned two sets of City Managers and Engineers, and reflects the importance of preparation, timing and collaboration with all stakeholders in the community.

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