Council passes on billing fee – for now

September 18, 2018

DIXON – The City Council amended its code Monday to make way for monthly water bills and decided against having a 60 cent fee for residents receiving paper bills.

The city recently started work on its $3 million project to upgrade all water meters, and meter replacements will eventually be followed by a transition from quarterly billing to monthly.

That’s estimated to cost an extra $24,000 a year to print and mail monthly statements, and initial plans were to cover that cost by charging residents 60 cents a month unless they opted for paperless billing.

City Manager Danny Langloss said the city received a small number of complaints about the proposed fee and that some city staff are not comfortable with the idea, so the council opted to leave out the fee and discuss it later if they need to.

The new Sensus iPerl meters, being installed by Morris-based United Meters Inc., will be more accurate and it’s likely residents will see an uptick in their bills.

The city loses about $300,000 a year in water revenue because of inaccurate meter reads, and the hope is that the new system will alleviate some of the losses.

Councilman Mike Venier said the 60 cent fee would be unnecessary, especially considering residents will probably have higher bills, and Councilman Ryan Marshall agreed as long as council readdress it later on.

They will need to revisit the paper fee if increased water revenue doesn’t come in as high as projected, about 7 percent, Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.

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