Long Beach, CA
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File #: 22-0657    Version: 1 Name: 061422-CAC/CC-Water/Gas Consolidation
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 6/9/2022 In control: Joint Meeting of the Charter Amendment Committee and City Council
On agenda: 6/14/2022 Final action: 6/14/2022
Title: Recommendation to receive and file comments from the community, receive and file supporting documentation into the record, and move to a second public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Long Beach City Charter to consolidate the administration of the City’s natural gas utility with the Long Beach Water Department. (Citywide)
Sponsors: City Manager
Attachments: 1. 061422.cac-cc.item3.pdf, 2. 061422.cac-cc.item3 PowerPoint.pdf, 3. 061422.cac-cc.item3.Corresp. Reed.pdf, 4. 061422.cac-cc.item3.Corresp. Scholl.pdf, 5. 061422.cac-cc.item3.Corresp. Cohn.pdf, 6. 061422.cac-cc.item3.Corresp. Lee.pdf, 7. 061422.cac-cc.item3.Corresp. Ovalle.pdf
Related files: 22-0563, 22-0854
TITLE
Recommendation to receive and file comments from the community, receive and file supporting documentation into the record, and move to a second public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Long Beach City Charter to consolidate the administration of the City’s natural gas utility with the Long Beach Water Department. (Citywide)

DISCUSSION
On May 17, 2022, the Long Beach City Council voted to convene the Charter Amendment Committee of the City Council to consider placing a City Charter amendment before 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/Public Utilities Commission, for the purposes of improving customer service through better coordination of street pipeline and infrastructure repairs. A copy of the Council letter associated with that vote is attached (Attachment A).

Expectations are that a merger of the existing water, sewer and gas utilities into a single publicly-owned utility will:

· Reduce impacts to streets through coordinated utility pipeline street repairs;
· Improve customer service by coordinating all utility services as one department;
· Eliminate duplicative costs and operations;
· Achieve costs savings through greater economies of scale; and,
· Increase transparency in utility budgeting and rate setting.

The proposed changes to the City Charter are detailed in Attachment B.

Under State law, a majority of Long Beach voters must approve any City Charter Amendment. The next available date to place this Charter amendment on the ballot will be November 8, 2022.

To consider this amendment for the November 8, 2022 election, State law requires there be three public hearings/meetings over the next 60 days. At each of these hearings/meetings there will be opportunities for discussion, receiving community input, and making changes to the C...

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