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Changes on tap for Bishop’s water and sewer rates?

December 31, 2013

Proposed changes to the city’s water and sewer fee structure, with some rates decreasing and some increasing in an attempt to be more equitable, must be approved by a majority of property owners and rate payers, and then the Bishop City Council (above). They would then take effect July 2014 through June 2019. Photo by Marilyn Blake Philip

Citizens interested in weighing in on proposed City of Bishop water and sewer rate changes must do so by the first week in February.
The City Council approved the Notice of Public Hearing and proposed water and sewer fees presented by Public Works Director David Grah on Dec. 9. That same week, notice of the upcoming public hearing went out to 1,232 property owners and ratepayers, Public Works Secretary Michelle Thomas said. The hearing is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 in the Council Chambers at 377 W. Line St.
In response to notices sent, only one comment has been received, Grah said on Dec. 27. “It was against the change.”
If more than half of the ratepayers are not in favor of the proposed rate changes, the rate change cannot be implemented, he explained. “Then we’ll need to make do as is.”
What happens if the new rates are not approved? “The systems would slowly deteriorate, we’d be subject to fines and catastrophic systems failures,” Grah said.
If approved by the majority of property owners and rate payers and ultimately the City Council, effective July 2014 through June 2019, proposed fee changes would support Bishop’s currently “financially healthy” water and sewer systems, Grah said. Basically, rates pay for operation and maintenance costs and “critical repairs and replacements to the city’s infrastructure; comply with mandated health and environmental requirements; and improve fairness,” states the public release posted on the city website,
Should a rate payer or property owner wish to protest, it must be done in writing and be submitted to the City Clerk at or before close of the Feb. 10 meeting – and postmarks will not count, Public Works said.  Written protests must “identify the affected parcel number or address; identify the person signing the protest as property owner or tenant; and include an original signature with the date of signature.”
For more information, contact Public Works at 377 W. Line St., Bishop CA 93514, (760) 873-8458 or

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