The Seal Beach City Council received a water rate study at the agency’s Monday, Dec. 14 meeting. Seal Beach last set water fees on Aug. 11, 2003.
“Since that time, much has changed in the water industry. Currently, Southern California is in a drought,” according to the staff report signed by Public Works Director Vince Mastrosimone.
According to a water rate study conducted by Willdan Financial Services, the current fees are “financially viable” yet they no longer match the cost of water service for Seal Beach.
The council will hold a public hearing on proposed increases in the water rates at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2010.
In related news, the council adopted a water efficient landscaping ordinance. The council also directed the city manager to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding between Poseidon Resources (Surfside) LLC and other agencies to allow (but not require) the city to look at purchasing desalinated water in the future. There is no financial impact to this agreement at this time.
During oral communications, homeless advocate Shirley Broussard reminded the council that Jesus Christ was born in what she described as an animal shelter. “He was born in abject poverty,” she said.
She repeated her previous calls to establish a homeless shelter in Seal Beach, which she now calls Hospitality House.
She said Long Beach has an overflow of homeless people. She hoped the homeless shelter would be on the council agenda in 2010.
However, Seal Beach resident Joe Gallo said a homeless shelter would attract more homeless people to the area. He said there are already organizations that exist to help the homeless.
He asked the council to place a homeless shelter in the industrial area of the city, rather than in a residential neighborhood. He also asked for three months advance notice so he could sell his house.
As reported in the Thursday, Dec. 17 issue of the Sun Newspapers, Councilman David Sloan was elected mayor.
After thanking the council and saying that Councilman Gordon Shanks would be a tough act to follow, Sloan took nominations for the office of mayor pro-tem.
Councilman Charles Antos nominated Gordon Shanks. Councilman Gary Miller nominated Councilman Michael Levitt.
The council voted 3-2 against Shanks’ nomination. Antos and Shanks voted for Shanks to be mayor pro tem.
The council then voted 4-1 to elect Levitt as mayor pro tem. Antos cast the sole dissenting vote.
In other business:
• Councilman Gary Miller asked for a report on the financial status of the Seal Beach Jail.
City Manager David Carmany said the jail would be on the agenda of the second meeting in January 2010. Miller also wanted to look at the Seal Beach Tennis Courts’ finances. Carmany was not sure if the information would be available by the second meeting in January.
• The council approved an agreement with Amonix Inc. to reimburse the company a portion of sales tax receipts when receipts exceed $25,000 per year.
• Authorized staff to apply for a grant from the California Energy Commission.
• Awarded the contract for the Beverly Manor Road improvement project to Tyner Paving.
• Awarded the tennis court resurfacing project contract to California Surfacing Company.
• Purhased a police motorcycle from Huntington Beach Honda.