City Council Study Session – Proposed Clean Water Program Funding Options

City Council Study Session – Proposed Clean Water Program Funding Options

By In On June 12, 2017

October 16, 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
City Hall - Council Chambers
330 W 20th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403

On October 16, 2017, the City Council will hold a study session with the Clean Water Program (CWP) on program goals, funding options, sewer rates, and rate structure for future years.

San Mateo is under a Regional Water Quality Control Board Cease and Desist Order and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requiring improvements to its sewer collection system and the Wastewater Treatment Plant to prevent sewer overflows and discharges of untreated or partially treated wastewater. The CWP is intended to address the required improvements, and is estimated to cost approximately $900 million through fiscal year 2025/2026, in addition to the ongoing annual capital improvement projects and operating and maintenance costs.

Funding this unprecedented investment in the City’s sewer collection and treatment system will require financing, as well as additional revenue increases. The City Council approved a rate increase for the fiscal year 2017/18, but this rate increase is not sufficient to fund the entire program. Changes in the rate structure to include part-fixed and part-use-based fees and multi- year rate increases are proposed options to produce sufficient revenue.

During the study session, CWP staff will present financing options aimed at balancing rates and ensuring timely delivery of CWP projects, while also providing the City with flexibility to optimize its financial strategy. CWP staff will also discuss the likelihood of financing availability, funding strategies, and inherent risks.

Input received from the Council at the study session will be used to refine and guide the development of a detailed financing plan and specific proposals for the sewer rate setting process for the coming fiscal years. 

The public will have opportunities to provide input to the proposed rate structures and estimated rate increases during community meetings planned for November 2017. The proposed rates will be presented to Council in early 2018.