Staff Report

The Buellton City Council has approved funding for a commercial/industrial water meter program for about 20 property owners to offset the cost of replacing water meters that are larger than necessary.

The council adopted the new program Nov. 9.

At its Oct. 26 meeting, the council approved the continued implementation of monthly water and wastewater rate increases that were adopted in 2016, which marked the first rate increase in 20 years.

Under the current water and wastewater rate structure, a fixed water meter charge varies based on the size of the meter.  Some commercial and industrial users have larger water meters than necessary for their business but could get dramatic monthly savings by changing their meter to a smaller one.

Previously, property owners could change their meters, at their expense, paying the city the cost of the new meter plus the labor to replace the meter itself, in addition to their own plumbing expenses.

Beginning Dec. 1, commercial and industrial water customers have 90 days to apply to the city for meter-adjustment assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. With $25,000 that the city has earmarked, approximately 20 customers will be able to make meter adjustments that are more fitting for the activities on their properties.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Mayor Holly Sierra said.

Applicants must complete a meter change request, which requires the property owner to use a professional to determine the property’s actual water needs and to verify that the appropriate meter requested is the appropriate size.

For more information, call City Hall at 805-688-5177.