The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners will meet tomorrow, Thursday, to start the two-month budget process for Fiscal 2020.

The meeting will be the first of four scheduled where the water board will discuss — and ultimately agree to — new water and sewer rates for the 2020 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020). Tomorrow's meeting will be an overview of the current personnel, operations and maintenance budgets.

The next two meetings will take place at 9 a.m. on May 2 and May 30. The final meeting is at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 13. The June 13 meeting is when the board will finalize the water and sewer budgets, and any rate changes. That budget will be presented to City Council in September for final approval.

Public comment is accepted at all the meetings, either at the beginning of the meeting or after the agenda item has been heard. Comments are accepted before the commission takes action.

Before the Water Department's budget goes to City Council, if there are rate increases, there must be a Prop. 218 public hearing where Long Beach residents can protest rate hikes. However, by then it takes more than 50% of all customers protesting to force changes. City Council must approve or deny the proposed budget by Sept. 30.

All meetings are open to the public. The first meeting is at 9 a.m. tomorrow, April 18, at the Long Beach Water Department Administration Building, 1800 E. Wardlow Rd. 

Board presentations, meeting updates and more information is available online at  

—Stephanie Stutzman

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