Long Beach, CA
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File #: 22-0563    Version: 1 Name: CM - Merge Water, Sewer, & Gas
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 5/9/2022 In control: City Council
On agenda: 5/17/2022 Final action: 5/17/2022
Title: Recommendation to request the Mayor to convene the Charter Amendment Committee of the City Council within 30 days to discuss placing a City Charter amendment before the voters to combine City Charter Article XV (Department of Public Utilities) with Article XIV (Water Department) to merge the existing water, sewer and gas utilities into a single publicly-owned utility, governed by the existing independent Water/Utility Commission, for the purposes of improving customer service through better coordination of street pipeline and infrastructure repairs. (Citywide)
Sponsors: City Manager
Attachments: 1. 051722-R-22sr.pdf, 2. 051722-R-22sr.PowerPoint.pdf, 3. 051722-R-22 Corresp.Ovalle.pdf
Related files: 22-0657, 22-0854
TITLE
Recommendation to request the Mayor to convene the Charter Amendment Committee of the City Council within 30 days to discuss placing a City Charter amendment before the voters to combine City Charter Article XV (Department of Public Utilities) with Article XIV (Water Department) to merge the existing water, sewer and gas utilities into a single publicly-owned utility, governed by the existing independent Water/Utility Commission, for the purposes of improving customer service through better coordination of street pipeline and infrastructure repairs. (Citywide)

DISCUSSION
Over the nearly 100 years of their mutual existence, periodic consideration has been given to the concept of consolidating the City’s Gas and Water utilities into one department, under one regulatory oversight body with common management.

Both Gas and Water utilities serve the same base of Long Beach residents and businesses, with the Gas utility also providing services to Signal Hill residents and businesses. Gas serves approximately 150,000 metered customers and Water serves approximately 90,000 metered customers; the primary difference in the number of metered accounts is due to Gas having a greater number of individually metered customers than Water. Gas delivers its commodity through 916 miles of gas main pipelines, and another 1,019 of gas service lines. Water similarly delivers its commodity through 946 miles of water main pipelines and 464 miles of water service lines. In addition, Water oversees the maintenance and operation of about 700 miles of sewer pipelines. These combined 4,000 miles of underground gas, water, and sewer pipelines are predominately located together in the same streets. However, because the City Charter currently prescribes Water and Gas be managed separately, oversight of the two utilities is bifurcated, street excavations for pipeline maintenance and repairs are conducted separately, and in some cases duplicative work occurs, causing increased disruptions...

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