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Long Beach : User Fee Enacted to Repair Aging Sewer System

September 01, 1988

The Long Beach City Council this week created a new users' fee that will cost the average homeowner $2.10 a month. The money will be used to repair and maintain a deteriorated sewer system.

Businesses will pay a fee based partly on the amount of water used. In new structures, the plan also calls for a one-time developer charge of $45 for each fixture such as toilets, showers and sinks. For a new single-family home with 14 fixtures, for example, the cost would be $630. For a new hotel, the one-time fee could be more than $250,000.

The new fees will take effect Nov. 1 and will be included in customers' gas, water and trash collection bill, according to William McWilliams, Water Department assistant general manager.

Long Beach has 760 miles of sewers. Although many sewer lines are 75 years old, few have been replaced, according to Larry Larson, general manager of the Water Department. It will cost about $85 million to modernize the system, he said.

Sewer users already pay an annual fee to the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County via their property tax bills. But unlike its neighboring cities, Long Beach does not charge a city fee. The fee to the county is $40 for a single-family residence and it varies for commercial and industrial users.

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