City of Brentwood
Home PageContact Us!Back

City Administration

2010 Council Goals and Strategic Plan | City Council Members | Calendar of Events | Elections
eNotification | Sub-Committees| Pledge of Allegiance Sign Ups | Invocation Sign Up
Live Streaming Council Meeting | Streaming PC Help |
Streaming Mac Help |

Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

Past Agendas

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 7

Meeting Date: September 23, 2003

Subject/Title: Approve a Resolution authorizing the Finance Director to reallocate the $1 per month residential water charge to a $1 per month with annual Cost Pricing Index (CPI) increase billed to each residential property owner for sanitary sewer service in the City of Brentwood.

Submitted by: Paul Zolfarelli, Director of Public Works

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
Approve a Resolution increasing City sewer services without increasing monthly service fees by authorizing the Finance Director to reallocate the $1 per month 1983 new water supply residential water charge to a $1 per month with annual Cost Pricing Index (CPI) increase billed to each residential property owner for sanitary sewer service in the City of Brentwood for maintenance, repair and/ or replacement of the portion of the sanitary sewer lateral located between the property line and main line.

PREVIOUS ACTION
None

BACKGROUND
The City of Brentwood Municipal Code (Section 13.04) identifies responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the lateral line, specifically called “house sewer”, as the property owners. Section 13.04.090(J) states, “Each owner shall keep his house sewer and connections in good order at his own expense and shall be held responsible for damage to any of the city’s property comprising any part of the sewer system.” Section 13.04.01 defines “house sewer” as “any part of the sewer piping beginning at the junction thereof with any building plumbing system at not closer then two feet outside the foundation wall of the building serviced and terminating at the main sewer.”

In the past, contrary to the sewer ordinance, Public Works crews have taken on the maintenance of the section of the sanitary sewer lateral within the City of Brentwood right-of-way. This maintenance has included inspection, repair and replacement.

Our crews have performed a variety of service cleanings and repairs on the lateral line from the property line cleanout to the main line in the street. While the majority of these service requests and repairs have been in the older residential areas of the City, newer subdivisions are experiencing problems with tree roots intruding into lateral lines.

The repair work being performed is a significant un-funded financial obligation on the Wastewater Enterprise Fund. The average lateral line repair cost is $1,700. This repair usually consists of repairing on offset in the lateral line where the lateral meets the main line. The repair involves removing asphalt, trenching, pipe replacement, back-filling and pavement patching. More complex lateral replacements can cost as much as $10,000. The average cost for clearing plugs in a lateral is $150. Lateral camera video inspection is $90 per hour. Chemical root control costs $110 per lateral. In the first three months of 2002 we incurred $11,245 of un-funded lateral work.

Since performing this work is in contrast to the Municipal Code Regulations, staff ceased performing this work and has been informing property owners of their obligation under the law.

In 1983 the City of Brentwood developed a new water supply project. This project was for the construction of a 16” water main line from the downtown area to the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Mokelumne Aqueduct and for construction of a filtration/ chlorination treatment plant at the water source location. Funding for this project in the amount of $1,425,000 was secured through the Department of Water Resources granted under the Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976. The project was completed in late 1984. The loan payment was funded through a monthly charge to all water customers. Initially set at $8.50 per month per customer, the charge has decreased to $1 per month. To date, sufficient funds needed to repay this loan have been generated and no further funding is needed.

DISCUSSION
Staff believes that the reappropriation and renaming of the $1 per month fee for the water supply project to the Wastewater Enterprise Fund for a Lateral Maintenance Program provides exceptional benefit to the residents of Brentwood. For approximately $12 per year property owners are able to avoid potentially $3,000 worth of sanitary sewer lateral repair. There is no initial new service charge to our residents.

Due to the significant costs associated with the maintenance, repair and potential replacement of lateral lines that lay between the property line and the main line, staff is proposing a policy that would reduce costs to the resident and ensure lateral sewer lines are operating properly.

Each residential property owner would pay $1 per month to pay for the program. While it is anticipated that this will be sufficient to pay for the initial program, it will be adjusted to reflect CPI increases each fiscal year. Property owners would still be required to have an approved cleanout installed at or within close proximity to the property line. The City would maintain the lateral from that cleanout or property line to the main line. All maintenance, repair and replacement of the lateral line from the property line back to the building or dwelling unit would be the responsibility of the property owner.

Historically, it is the section of sewer line from the property line to the main line that experiences the most service interruption. This portion of the right-of-way does not normally contain significant amounts of landscaping and replacement work consists of pavement and asphalt. This leaves the landscaped or specifically, the constructed yard portion, as the property owner’s responsibility.

While the Public Works Department has not been providing service to lateral lines in the public right-of-way for several months now, a significant number of requests for service are still being received. Staff believes that by implementing this program residents will have a shared benefit in maintenance, repair and/or replacement of the most expensive portion of their sewer line, that which is under the sidewalk, curb and gutter and the street pavement. For a very small monthly fee, property owners will avoid replacement costs of up to $10,000. The portion of the sanitary sewer lateral from the property line back to the dwelling unit will still be the responsibility of the property owner but these repairs historically are much less costly and involved.

Implementing this program achieves the following:

 Provides service to all property owners equally

 Ensures adequate funding is generated to pay for the program

 Allows for minimal fund reserve to be built

Due to complexities associated with commercial lateral lines including frontage to the streets, the high cost of maintenance from such operations as restaurants requiring a significant number of cleanings to remove grease build up and the limited number of commercial users, it is recommended that this program only apply to residential customers. There are currently 10,100 residential connections verses 395 commercial connections. If the Council were to offer this program to the commercial customers it is recommended that the charge for the commercial accounts be charged approximately four times the residential charge or $4.96 per month.

FISCAL IMPACT
Currently there are 10,100 residential sanitary sewer connections. If the fee for the lateral program is implemented at the $1 per connection per month, approximately $121,200 would be generated in the first year which would be applied to the cost of the program.

These funds will be exclusively earmarked for the lateral repair program. It is anticipated that not all of the funding will be exhausted each year and that any funds remaining at the end of the fiscal year will be placed in reserves to ensure sufficient funding of this program as participation increases due to aging infrastructure. A projection of growth, revenue and expenditure for the first seven years of this program are as follows:

$1 $1.025 $1.05 $1.07 $1.10 $1.18 $1.26
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7
Connections 10,100 10,807 11,563 12,372 13,239 14,165 15,157
$1/mo. Revenue 121,200 132,926 145,693 158,856 174,754 200,576 229,173
Anticipated Annual Program Expense $111,200 $122,926 $135,693 $148,856 $164,754 $190,576 $219,173
Reserves $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Total to Reserve $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 $70,000

While it is difficult to predict how many homeowners will utilize the services in this program each year, staff is anticipating allocating $10,000 per year to reserves up to a total reserve of $100,000. Staff further anticipates that sufficient funds will be available each year for lateral root foaming and equipment renewal and replacement. If program costs were to exceed annual revenues staff would examine fund alternatives including additional monthly charges.

If City Council chose to extend this program to the 395 commercial users currently receiving sanitary sewer service an estimate charge of $4.96 per month to each commercial facility would be needed to generate sufficient funds to pay for the program.

Attachments
• Resolution
• City of Brentwood Municipal Code (Section 13.04.090)

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING THE FINANCE DIRECTOR TO REALLOCATE THE $1 PER MONTH RESIDENTIAL WATER CHARGE TO A $1 PER MONTH WITH ANNUAL COST PRICING INDEX (CPI) INCREASE BILLED TO EACH RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNER FOR SANITARY SEWER SERVICE IN THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD.

WHEREAS, responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the residential property sewer lateral line currently lies with the resident per Municipal Code Section 13.04.090; and

WHEREAS, the City will discontinue the $1 per month residential water charge as of October 1, 2003; and

WHEREAS, the $1 per month residential water charge can be reallocated to a $1 per month with annual CPI increase, billed to each residential property owner for sanitary sewer service commencing on October 1, 2003; and

WHEREAS, the $1 per month sanitary sewer service fee could assist property owners in avoiding expensive sewer later replacement costs of up to $10,000; and

WHEREAS, approximately $121,200 would be generated in the first year and applied toward the cost of the Sewer Lateral Program.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood authorizes the Financial Director to reallocate the $1 per month residential water charge to a $1 per month with annual CPI increase billed to each residential property owner for sanitary sewer service in the City of Brentwood.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the 23rd day of September, 2003 by the following vote:
 

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov