Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

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By an edhat reader

The City of Santa Barbara is proposing a rate increase for water and trash services. I could be wrong but wasn't there an increase just a few years ago? 

The letter states it will "provide revenue needed to fund the cost of providing safe and reliable utility service." The issue is, the rates always increase and never decrease.

City Council will consider the increase on June 15th but I'm curious, what's the insight of edhat readers?

Click here for more information on the proposed increase.

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citizenSB Apr 15, 2021 01:06 PM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Just WOW -- Montecito water rates are $9.48 per HCF unit, City of SB is $16.62 per HCF.
And SB wants to raise rates again? Maybe it is time for neighbors to drill shared wells.

El Barbareno Apr 15, 2021 09:20 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

If the City didn't waste so much money on ridiculous studies and stupid plans they could be using it for fixing the "old and failing water main infrastructure."

goletabob Apr 15, 2021 08:25 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

People asking for audits or complaining about fleecing, did you read the documents posted? The trash cost increases were explained reasonably clearly. There are a combination of factors including the usual boring inflation, but also response to state-mandated waste diversion requirements, and the issue of smaller landfill usage during the pandemic but costs being largely fixed means that rates must increase since most costs are fixed. It sucks if the rate increases are a burden but none of this sounds like graft or fleecing.

The water rate increases were in part because the water main infrastructure is old and failing. They have been doing preventative replacement, but they determined that they needed to step up the pace to reduce failures and this will cost more money. Effectively in prior years rate-payers were paying less than they should have on capital maintenance, in part because rate increases are always met with an uproar.

PitMix Apr 15, 2021 07:29 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Remember when Marborg said competition with BFI would keep your rates down? Then when they said being given the sole contract would keep your rates down? Bring back competition and BFI!!

SBSand Apr 15, 2021 06:11 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

I felt that increase last time and not excited for more! However, the employees need to be compensated and have insurance and other benefits and those costs, along with all other costs in life go up so not sure how we can avoid it. I'm less bothered about paying more for these utilities than I am about cox cable...

PitMix Apr 15, 2021 07:26 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

My city bill for water and trash can run up to $200/mo, so it is my biggest. My least favorite charge is the "sewerage" fee for the outside watering I do during the summer. They know exactly how much sewer water I send them- it is on my January bill every year. Just another fleecing of the taxpayer.

Channelfog Apr 15, 2021 03:41 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

We have to haul our trash to town, but the state government provides free dumpsters every couple of blocks. No trash bills and we see very little illegal dumping. Uruguay might be a good example to follow except that they are slow to adopt recycling.

smary Apr 14, 2021 03:16 PM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

I'd be interested in knowing what like size communities pay. It seems the rates are sky high already for both trash and water. Plus the city pretty much doubles our water bill to "pay for sewer" ie the amount of waste water the sewer pipes have to handle. This is a completely improper/unfair charge, as easily 60% of our water usage goes to water the landscape/plants thus not utilizing the sewer. Atop all this we ALSO pay a yearly sewer maintenance fee added on our property tax. Huge ripoff with 0 recourse, aside from their public input (which is ignored)

Lucky 777 Apr 14, 2021 11:29 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

When China stopped buying our recycled waste the whole system went to Hell. Now most goes to landfills. It COULD be recycled here, if the systems were in place, if there was the will.

a-1618423486 Apr 14, 2021 11:04 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Oh yeah while you’re at it I’ve Marborg several times up on the Mesa off Mesa lane after the trash man come there’s trash everywhere this is ridiculous if it was at the Bordetella’s neighborhood it would be spotless they need to do their job and put the trash in the trash truck not all over the property

Chip of SB Apr 14, 2021 11:00 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

The funny thing is, we could dramatically reduce the costs of these services if we elected different leadership. The majority of people actually want their bills to keep increasing.

Ahchooo Apr 14, 2021 10:12 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Somewhat off-topic: I used to buy things like rice and oatmeal in bulk. I could get it in a plastic bag, which I’d then reuse multiple times, and when I eventually disposed of it, the bag took up very little space. Now the bulk bins are gone, and places like Lazy Acres only sells prepackaged stuff, so I end up with these hard plastic containers that can’t be recycled, and I have more than I need. We need to find better ways to sell foods so they don’t all come in bulky, un-recyclable containers. And take-out food! Lots of trash generated there. We need better single-use containers—things that compost quickly or can be economically recycled. Some exist, but they sure aren’t in general use.

PitMix Apr 14, 2021 11:14 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Germany used to have a rule that everything they made had to have a recycling plan. That would go a long way to solving our trash problem but the hate-the-guvmint people would go ballistic.

kohn1 Apr 14, 2021 10:09 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Look around & see what people collect to recycle for money. Everything else to the dump. It's cheaper. When the landfill is full, open another one. The full ones are being turned into nice natural landscapes.

PitMix Apr 14, 2021 11:13 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

Once Tajiguas closes, after they run out of creative ways to expand it, we will have to ship our trash to Santa Maria's landfill. Get ready for a big increase then! Even the markets for cardboard and aluminum are way down.

PitMix Apr 14, 2021 09:59 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

To reduce your costs, they recommend increasing your recycling. But they are now limiting the things that can be recycled to clean materials, and currently most recycled materials like plastics have no market and are just sent to the landfill. I think their advice is not helpful at all.

PitMix Apr 14, 2021 09:56 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

What I notice walking around the neighborhood is that the low waste producers are subsidizing the high producers. I buy the smallest can and fill it once every two weeks. (SLO makes even smaller cans available). Other people buy a large can and fill it to overflowing each week. Plus the bigger cans are less expensive on a per volume comparison. If they weren't afraid people would start dumping their trash in the neighborhoods, they would start charging people the true cost of disposal with the same cost per unit volume for all sizes of cans and extra for overflowing cans.

ChillinGrillin Apr 14, 2021 10:17 AM
Santa Barbara Proposes Water & Trash Rate Increases

When a Democrat becomes potus suddenly the GOP gets conservative again. Meanwhile they were spending like drunk sailors on navy ships and planes that barely work, tax breaks for billionaires and corporations, and golf trips for President Dipshit. The so-called conservatives need to get a brain transplant then get back to us when they’re done being stupid and insane.

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