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California City Council Rejects a 25% Increase in Water Rates

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- A city council in northern California unanimously rejected a 25 percent increase in water rates over the next five years, saying Sonoma hadn’t considered options including consolidating services with water agencies to cut costs, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

Public Works director Milenka Bates told the council last night that without the rate increases, Sonoma would have to defer projects and “fix things as they break,” the newspaper said.

The city’s public works department had sought at least a 5 percent annual rate increase for five years to help offset a projected water budget deficit and pay for infrastructure improvements such as replacing aging wells. The city buys 95 percent of its water from the Sonoma County Water Agency, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in Zurich at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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