Water and sewer rates in Guadalupe may be going up soon, and the City Council will be discussing how much and when the process will begin tonight at its regular meeting.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 918 Obispo Street.

The city is required by Proposition 218 to hold public hearings before instituting a rate hike. According to the staff report, the council will consider holding that public hearing at its April 26 meeting as well as authorizing city staff to notify local property owners of the meeting.

The City Council has discussed increasing both water and sewer rates in previous meetings, although the specific amount of the rate increase still is under consideration.

Rising operation and maintenance costs, the added cost of environ-mental testing and needed upgrade and replacement of old lines are reasons the city has cited for needing a rate increase.

The city also is required to set rates at levels that ensure 125 percent of its obligation to the State Water Project is available.

The Central Coast Water Authority currently provides water to approximately 1,579 residential and commercial customers.

The council also will discuss a resolution that will allow the city to receive state and federal disaster assistance following the December flooding.

The city declared a local emergency following the Dec. 19 flooding. Acting Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency for 11 counties 10 days later and forwarded it to President Barack Obama. A Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration was approved Jan. 26.

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