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Better access sought for Sanitation District hearings

Posted: May 9, 2012 10:08 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2012 10:08 p.m.
 

Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District board members Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste want district hearings more accessible than Whittier, where a public hearing was scheduled Wednesday on a rate increase.

The council members, who represent two-thirds of the Sanitation District’s board, raised several concerns about the district during Wednesday’s meeting, Weste said after she had returned to Santa Clarita.

The district uses a significant amount of oil to power sewage pumps and also uses petrochemicals in its treatment process of wastewater, Weste said.

“We use thousands of barrels of oil at the district,” Weste said.

Weste said she and McLean want to know how escalating oil prices are affecting the district’s operating expenses.

The pair also wanted to ask district officials why some of the meetings held in Whittier couldn’t be held in the Santa Clarita Valley, where the population served by the district is located.

Sanitation officials are expected to respond formally to the concerns at the next board meeting, a district spokesman said.

The public was invited Wednesday to weigh in on the district’s proposed sewer rate hikes in Whittier — about 60 miles southeast of Santa Clarita.

Sewer rates for users across the Santa Clarita Valley are expected to increase by 7 percent next year, according to district officials.

Residents currently paying the normal single-family rate of $215 every year are expected to pay $231 for the same services in the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to the latest schedule drafted by the district’s board of directors.

The district board approved the rate hike last summer, but it cannot take effect until the public has an opportunity to voice input.

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