Long Beach, CA
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File #: 22-0854    Version: 1 Name: 072222-CAC/CC-Water/Gas Consolidation
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 7/14/2022 In control: Joint Meeting of the Charter Amendment Committee and City Council
On agenda: 7/19/2022 Final action: 7/19/2022
Title: Recommendation to receive and file comments from the community and receive and file supporting documentation into the record regarding the proposed consolidation of the City’s 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; and refer to the City Council to consider adoption of all required resolutions to place the Charter amendment on the November 8, 2022 General Election Ballot. (Citywide)
Sponsors: City Manager
Attachments: 1. 071922.cac-cc.item3.pdf, 2. 071922.cac-cc.item3 PowerPoint.pdf
Related files: 22-0657, 22-0563
TITLE
Recommendation to receive and file comments from the community and receive and file supporting documentation into the record regarding the proposed consolidation of the City’s 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; and refer to the City Council to consider adoption of all required resolutions to place the Charter amendment on the November 8, 2022 General Election Ballot. (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).

The Charter Amendment Committee held its first public hearing on June 14, 2022, received and filed supporting documentation into the public record, took public comment and moved to convene a second public hearing on the matter.

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 ...

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