Templeton sewer bills are set to rise by more than a third next year to help the small community pay for upcoming changes.
The Templeton Community Services District’s board of directors approved the new rate structure in a unanimous vote on Oct. 15, significantly increasing the sewage charges for the district’s customers. No one submitted written protests to the change, district officials said.
Templeton currently has two ways it treats its wastewater — some goes to the district’s Meadowbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant on the district’s southwest side and some ﬂows to the treatment plant owned by the neighboring city of Paso Robles.
Increasing the district’s rates follows several recent discussions among community leaders and the public on whether to keep the current setup or reroute Templeton’s sewage to treat it all in-house because Paso Robles is currently upgrading its treatment plant and Templeton must share in 9 percent of the bill.
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"Rerouting the wastewater is now anticipated to cost more, in terms of capital upgrades, than staying with Paso Robles," district general manager Jeff Briltz said. "So additional funds will need to be raised in order to implement the rerouting project."
Staying with Paso Robles will cost the small North County community an estimated $4.8 million — about $240,000 annually — through 2036.
The district will continue to tackle designs for treating its own wastewater but the plans aren’t definitive in their timeline or costs yet, Briltz said.
Under the new rate structure, the monthly bills for Templeton's residential, commercial and industrial users will go from a $23.34 flat rate to a $31.21 flat rate — a 33.7 percent increase. Those base rates are then expected to grow to $43.82 by 2017.
For commercial and industrial users, monthly rates cover the first 300 cubic feet of sewage discharged. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons. After that, they're charged an extra sum for every 100 cubic feet discharged. The new structure would increase that sum from the current $2 to $4.07 for every 100 cubic foot discharged. The extra charge is then expected to grow to $7.02 by 2017.
Bills reflecting the changes will go out to customers in January.