By Tom Fruitcheese and the Monterey Peninsula Water Pollution Creation Agency. Protesters tried to stop it with a written campaign but fell short, kind of knee deep in the sewage.
The city’s aging sewer system has led to repeat sewage spills into protected coastal waters. Officials sought the fee hike to cover the long-term costs of repairing it, pinned at $13.9 million over 10 years.
“Portions of the sewer system are almost 100 years old,” P.G. City Manager Tom Frutchey writes by email. “In order to keep the system functioning effectively, for the safety of residents and the protection of the Bay, the council adopted the proposed rates. Throughout the 10-year period, future councils will be able to make further adjustments.”
Meanwhile, the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association has pressured the city to refund a $600,000-plus sewer fee overcharge to residents. Officials have said they’d rather apply it as a credit against the upcoming fee hike.