FAIRFIELD — City leaders will again discuss raising water rates Tuesday after their last discussion stalled over the length of time for the hike.
Fairfield City Council members tabled the item at the April 16 meeting after failing to agree whether the 2.5 percent proposed increase should last for the suggested four years or two years, which was suggested by two council members.
Staff originally recommended the 2.5 percent increase as a way to fund capital projects, including a new transmission line and replacing aging water mains that have begun breaking around the city. Fire Chief Tony Velasquez also spoke to the council about the need for those mains to perform during large-scale fire incidents.
City Manager Sean Quinn said four years was needed to successfully plan and to execute the projects.
The five members of the council seemed to agree on the need for an increase, but Catherine Moy and Pam Bertani said four years was too long of a period. Several motions were made, but the council failed to agree. The eventual vote on the four-year rate increase was 3-2.
That prompted staff to remind the council that four votes were needed to change a city ordinance. Quinn said the 3-2 vote would have forced the city to issue notices to residents about a public hearing in 45 days, which would cost between $7,000 to $10,000. He balked at this idea if the council vote would be the same when the item returned.
The latest proposal from staff now includes the original four-year plan, a four-year plan with the option to revisit after two years, and a two-year option.
The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 1000 Webster St.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.