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Issues | Other

Issues: Other

RPA Questions on Sewer Rate Hike

The RPA recognizes the difficult situation both the City of Richmond and its citizens face with the state of our sewer system in the current economy.

A pipeline to connect our system to EBMUD is likely not an available short term solution, even if it may have been the correct solution years ago or may be sometime in the future.

We are also strong supporters of protection for the Bay and would support efforts to stop dumping sewage in the Bay even if it were not required of the city by threat of suit and even though this is a tough economic period.

However there are still important questions to be answered.

  • Can any of the expenses be postponed until we are not facing such tough economic times?
  • Why are the costs being put to homeowners in the most regressive possible way where a single occupant of a small inexpensive home must pay the same as a large wealthy family using much more water and sewage?
  • Are there ways to get Federal funds which can defray costs?
  • What are the real long term possibilities for joining the EBMUD system?
  • Why can we not extend the decision deadline until we can get these questions satisfactorily answered?

We would point out that community opposition to the rate increase has already resulted in a few changes for the good. The city has admitted that its process has not been sufficiently transparent and there is now the recognized need for more and better oversight of Veolia and the district.

There is no reason to end this discussion process prematurely.

Finally, however the immediate situation is resolved, we are still opposed to vital natural resources and services being developed for private profit rather than for the needs of the community. Veolia is an international corporation known for its environmental disregard and its anti-union stance. (see here) We still seek a way to return the operation and control over our water and sewage systems to the public.

Richmond Progressive Alliance Statement