Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners adopt budget and rates for Fiscal Year 2021

A six percent adjustment in water rates ($3.06 increase on a typical single-family household monthly bill) and the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners’ approval of the adoption of the Water Department budget and rates for the Fiscal Year 2021 was announced in a press release on Thursday, June 18.

Additionally, there will be no increase in sewer rates.

The above will go into effect only after a public hearing and City Council adoption in September.

“Today, the Board of Water Commissioners adopted a fiscally sound and prudent budget that reflects hard work, inventive thinking and smart infrastructure investments,” said Harry Saltzgaver, president of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “Next year’s budget prioritizes projects that reduce the department’s reliance on costly imported water sources, maximizing access to less expensive local groundwater and increasing local storage capacity.”

“Next year’s budget was prepared under unusual circumstances,” said Chris Garner, general manager of the Long Beach Water Department. “We’ve gone through every component of the budget, line-by-line, looking for creative strategies to reduce costs for our customers. The approved budget includes nearly $10 million in cost reductions and deferrals for FY 21.”

According to the press release, a typical residential water/sewer bill is $64 a month, and Long Beach residential water and sewer rates rank remarkably lower compared to other large cities in the state like Los Angeles San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.

The sewer charges for the City of Long Beach for a typical residential customer stand lower now than they were 10 years ago.

“The water rate increase approved today accurately reflects Long Beach Water’s costs while allowing the department to continue to perform core water functions necessary to ensure high quality and affordable drinking water,” the press release stated.

The Long Beach Water Department shared its commitment to providing high-valued water and sewer services to the community and their health and quality of life.

The department went on to state that to ensure the community’s safety during COVID-19, customer water shutoffs due to nonpayment are temporarily suspended.

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