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Oxnard’s wastewater facility receives $9.5M in state funding

The wastewater utility hike in the city of Oxnard has been a long fought battle between the city and some of its residents, but new funding to help repair the city’s deteriorating wastewater facility could eventually be the answer to lower rates.

Last week, Assembly Member, Jacqui Irwin secured $9.5 million dollars in the state’s budget to make emergency repairs to the facility.

“I’m really happy that we are going to be able to help the city of Oxnard,” said Irwin. “Obviously they have a lot of needs beyond this $9.5 million and hopefully this takes a little pressure off.”

Oxnard Public Works Director, Rosemarie Gaglione says the money will help pay for a standby generator, new electrical building and a monitoring system.

The entire upgrade will cost around $16 million dollars but with the new funding, she says residents could eventually see a lower utility bill.

“If the costs end up being lower than what was estimated then ultimately the residents will see a decrease in their rates,” said Gaglione. “It’s too soon to say that now, but the whole purpose was to get the funding to make these repairs and these upgrades. If those are done and the costs are lower, hey that’s great and we’ll be able to adjust those.”

This hope is good news for resident, Suzie Gonzales who says she’s seen a sharp increase in her monthly utility bills.

“Right now I cringe,” said Gonzalez. “Yeah, it is going up.”

The city says 40% of the facility is in poor or very poor condition, so funding is coming at a crucial time.

“We cant have this plant stop pumping,” said Gaglione. “Almost 32 million gallons a day of sewage comes into this plant and I don’t know if everyone realizes how critical a facility is like this until you can’t flush a toilet.”

The city says they will start the repairs in March 2019.

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