Did Anyone Receive Beaumont’s Sewer Fee Increase Notice ?
Beaumont City Council Plans to Illegally Increase Sewer Fees for 3rd Time Without Voter Approval as Required by California State laws.
Beaumont’s trusted Staff was scheduled to mail Notifications on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so they should reach everyone’s home today or Saturday. The City plans to Increase Sewer Fees again in February, 2018, five months before the current Sewer Fee Increase Expires.
Since 1996 California State Law requires Voter Approval for all Tax Increases.
On December 5, 2006, the Beaumont City Council Approved Resolution 2006-73 Sewer Rate Increase for “Construction of facilities required to treat an additional 6.12 million gallons per day of wastewater”. The Resolution provides for a Cost of Living Increase and no ending date of Resolution.
Basic Sewer Fees were increased and a Regulatory Fee of $1.27 was added to every Ratepayers’ Bill. From January, 2006 to June, 2013 the City collected approximately $1.2 Million in Regulatory Fees alone.
On March 5, 2013, Beaumont City Council Approved Resolution 2013-07 to increase Sewer Fees for the “Expansion and Upgrade of Wastewater Treatment Facilities”. The Increase was to last for five (5) years beginning July 1, 2013 and expiring June 30, 2018. The Regulatory Charge increased from $1.27 to $6.65 per month. The last increase was enacted in July, 2017.
From July, 2013 to the Present; the City will have collected approximately $5.7 Million in Regulatory Fees alone bringing the total fees collected for the Expansion to almost $7 Million.
The $7 Million in Regulatory Fees were deposited into Beaumont’s General Fund Bank Account instead of a separate Interest-Bearing Bank Account and all of the money is gone. We know that Council directed $5 Million to be ‘officially’ transferred into the General Fund on November 1, 2016.
On November 7, 2017, Beaumont City Council Approved an another Sewer Rate Increase without Voter Approval to cover general operations and to secure Bond Payments for future Bond Debt.
The City just increased Sewer Rates in July, 2017, but plan to Increase Rates again in February, 2018.
Beaumont is doing their usual breaking of State Law by paying Consultants to claim that the City can pass the Sewer Fee Increase if 50% + 1 of Ratepayers don’t submit written protests. Acting City Attorney Robert Patterson didn’t say a word.
Purposing lying or stating mistruths is Fraud.
State Law is very clear that a Special Tax must be Submitted to the Electorate and Approved by 2/3’s Vote in an Election.
California Constitution Article XIIIC Section 2 (d) No local government may impose, extend, or increase any special tax unless and until that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds vote. A special tax shall not be deemed to have been increased if it is imposed at a rate not higher than the maximum rate so approved.
Government Code Section 53722: No local government or district may impose any special tax unless and until such special tax is submitted to the electorate of the local government, or district and approved by a two-thirds vote of the voters voting in an election on the issue.
Below is the Transcript from the November 7, 2017 Beaumont City Council Meeting. Council was so proud of themselves they Approved the Scam at 10:30 pm.
Lloyd White takes no responsibility for the $4.5 Million Sewer Fees collected since his election, but ‘next time’ his trusted staff that never lies to him will not embezzle all the money. Next time.
Beaumont City Council Transcript November 7, 2017
Agenda Item 28: Sewer Rate Study: https://beaumont.civicweb.net/document/9808/Item%2028.pdf?handle=8E7180B2289B454991C3325BDCFDA061
Acting City Attorney Patterson never said a word.
4:40:00 Jakher: We did a Presentation at the last Meeting on the Sewer Rate Study. We do have updated numbers and we also have the study that’s completed. Tonight we are proceeding with the Prop 218 process.
4:41:00 Kim Boehler, Associate Director NBS: We updated the current rates to reflect the adjustment the City did in July, 2017. We updated the state date for new rates to be February 1, 2018 instead of January due to the timing of the Prop 218 process. And we updated the Financial Plan and the Reserve Fund Projections to reflect the change that we noted. The Rates haven’t changed from what you’ve seen before; it’s just the percentage change in the first year that’s lower than it was to reflect the fact that the City already implemented a Rate Increase in July.
4:42:00 Boehler, For a Single-Family Resident unit; the current rate is $33.51. That will change in February to $34.91 in this Plan then increase 7% per year. At the end of the five-year period that rate will be $45.77 for a single-family home.
White: Do you know if we’re doing this; if that $33.51 would have gone up again on its own without what we’re doing?
Boehler: The Plan that the City currently has, I think it would expire this year.
Jakher: There is one more year and it would have gone up to $34.51. [Lie]
White: Okay, so the $34.91 only a little bit of that is more than what would have gone up if we weren’t doing anything.
4:43:00 Jakher: The only difference is that it would have gone up in July. This is going up in February.
White: Okay, okay.
4:44:00 White: You said this increase would cover all the costs? Not all the costs for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, is it?
Boehler: It would cover your operating and maintenance costs, the Debt Services Payments [FUTURE BONDS] that projected because you’re going to Debt Finance the Sewer Treatment Plant Project.
Boehler: Then the City has about $1.5 Million in annual Capital Expenditures for Rehab and Replacement, which are regular costs. `It’s debt service paid over time, so that debt service is factored in.
4:45:00 White: You’d still have to apply for financing, but this is a way to pay it off.
Boehler: This would pay it off over a 30-year period. [It’s a 5-year tax] The next steps after tonight; City Staff is planning on sending a Prop 218 Notice to all your customers notifying them of the potential rate increase. The 2018 Notice will state the time and place of the Public Hearing, which is planned for January 16, 2018. There needs to be a 45-day period after sending the notices, before the public hearing takes place, so that’s factored into that timeline. I sent City Staff the Report today for the Rate Study, so that should be available online for the residents to look at during the 45-day period.
White: There’s a clause that if there’s a majority of the written – have you ever seen that happen?
4:46:00 Boehler: No. No. It’s a pretty high threshold; you have o get 51[%], the majority. 50% + 1 of customers to protest.
White: And they have to do it in writing.
Martinez: The options that were presented back in the drawing room; is that a part of these figures? If we decide to go with those options presented; then we’d have to change this Financing Plan?
Jakher: The estimated cost are included in our Capital Project. Those are all included. What you saw last time presented by Brian [Forebath, Webb & Assocates] are all included in this Project.
4:47:00 Jakher: We have to submit a Financial Plan to the Board by the end of this year, December 31, 2017, so that’s the reason you’re seeing this now. We need to have this in place and let the Board know that we’ll be adopting the new Rates very shortly. This will complete our Financial Plan that we need to submit to them in about a month.
White: And expanding this Plant isn’t an option. We’re required to do it and if we had taken Option B [Sell to BCVWD] our rates would be going up much higher, correct?
Jakher: That is correct. And as you recall we did the connection fees for the Sewer and our fees are lower than if we had to connect to Yucaipa. Their fees are a little over $8,000, or a little over $5,000.
White: And do we know; I think their Fees are now what this is going to end up at? Is that about right?
Jakher: Their Fees are $42 and some cents. That’s current fees. Everybody has increases coming up.
4:48:00 Parton: To put that in context: In Year 1 the extra on the Rate is $18.00. That’s up 4.19%. Then it goes to $19.26 in Year 2, $20.61 in Year 3, $22.05 in Year 4, and $23.59 in Year 5. That’s the Annualized Costs.
White: There was some concerns with the last Increase that the money was not set aside and put aside. This all goes into the Sewer Fund and then the Sewer Fund manages the Debt Service from there.
Parton: That’s right.
White: And that’s a Separate Fund from the City and that’s a Fund that’s Audited each year?
4:49:00 Parton: Yes. And with that we’ve got to book the Debt Service Obligation that’s there. I’ve got a report on that as we know. We’ll be getting some guidelines on the appropriate management and accounting and recording of that as well.
White: So what are we approving tonight, to begin the 218 Process?
Male Councilman: I make a Motion to Approve.
White: I’ll Second that. So when will that go out?
4:50:00 Parton: Notices will go out on November 22nd and then your 1st Public Hearing is January 16, 2018. February 1, 2018 increases the Rates.