Grover Beach to pay back overcharges, initiative moves forward

March 12, 2024

Opponents of the rate increase held a protest prior to the Dec. 11 City Council meeting.


The Grover Beach City Council on Monday agreed the city has overcharged residents on their water bills and will need to refund nearly $100,000. Earlier on Monday, a citizens group turned in more than four times the required signatures to put an initiative to repeal a 112% water rate increase on the November ballot.

Amid a combative hearing on Dec. 11, 2023, the Grover Beach City Council voted 3-2 to raise water and sewer rates by 112% over four years with the first increase slated for Feb. 21.

However, the city applied the higher rate on bills from Dec. 8, three days before the council voted to raise the rate. Community members discovered the overcharge and threatened litigation if the city did not rectify its error.

Even though the city applied the increase before it went into effect, city staff argued in a staff report that the refunds will result in a combined loss of $92,004 in revenue this fiscal year for both the water and wastewater funds. Even so, the council agreed on Monday to refund the overcharges.

In early January, Grover H2O filed a notice of intent to circulate a petition to repeal the water and sewer rate increase. The group needed to collect 235 signature from Grover Beach residents who voted in the last election.

On Monday, Grover H2O turned in a petition signed by 1,085 voters. If the city clerk verifies at least 235 signatures, the citizens’ ballot initiative to repeal the resolution to increase water rates by 112% will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

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Great job Grover H2O. Let the people decide not the politicians.

It also looks like the city clerk, Wendi Sims, needs to be replaced due to they way she is slow walking the repeal and recall petitions? Of course she is doing so at the demand of the city manager or council but she should put the residents first, her priorities are clearly not right.