CONTACT: Justin Renteria, 210-296-7213
SAN ANTONIO (December 7, 2017) — District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño discusses the SAWS rate adjustment City Council approved today:
“Many residents want to know what they can expect SAWS to accomplish with the increase in revenue.
The additional funds the rate change will generate will be used towards upgrading our sewer system and replacing old water supply lines. These improvements are critical to District 1 as it is the center of the city and contains much of the City’s oldest infrastructure. Furthermore, an agreement (consent decree) between SAWS and the federal government dictates that, by law, SAWS must make these sewer improvements.
While rate increases are often difficult to justify, it is imperative that our aging sewer lines do not burst, especially near our waterways. The vote today provides stability by allowing SAWS to better budget and plan to address our aging and water infrastructure needs. The vote also allows ratepayers to lock in their water rate over the next several years – avoiding serious cost escalation issues. With a million future San Antonians on the horizon, our city cannot afford to neglect the most basic, yet essential infrastructure for our current residents.
My colleagues and I have asked SAWS to look at their operations and budget to find efficiencies to streamline services and lessen the financial burden on ratepayers. I would like SAWS to continue its industry leading efforts to reach out to vulnerable communities in need of assistance – specifically: people with disabilities; surviving spouses of first responders; our veteran communities; widows and widowers of veterans. Also, I have requested, and SAWS has assured me, that they will remove ALL late fees for the disabled on the Affordability Discount Program. Although I know this is affects a relatively small number of residential rate payers, these individuals have already exhibited a need for assistance.
I will continue to work with SAWS on a commitment to providing better affordability programs to minimize the financial impact on seniors and other segments of our underserved community.”