South Coast City Going To Court Over Sewage Rate Hike Fight

Mar 24, 2016

A battle over wastewater rates in one South Coast city is headed to court.

The City of Oxnard moved to increase its wastewater rates as part of an effort to make upgrades to its outdated and crumbling wastewater treatment plant. A 35% hike took effect this month, with annual increases through 2020. But, some residents objected to the hikes, and took out paperwork for a ballot initiative to try to repeal the hike.

Now, city officials filed a complaint to try to get a judge to throw out the proposed initiative. In a written statement, they say the proposed ballot initiative is illegal because it would set wastewater rates too low, and unconstitutionally force the city to violate it contractual obligations to meet its annual bond debt service.