Blog

Long Beach Water to return $21 million to ratepayers following Measure M court ruling

MEDIA RELEASE

May 12, 2022

Contact:  Lauren Gold, Public Information Officer
Phone: (562) 355-1201 
Email: lauren.gold@lbwater.org

LONG BEACH WATER TO RETURN $21 MILLION TO RATEPAYERS FOLLOWING MEASURE M COURT RULING

LONG BEACH, CALIF. (MAY 12, 2022) — Residents and businesses will see a credit on their water bill in the coming months following a vote by the Board of Water Commissioners Thursday to return $21 million in Measure M funds back to ratepayers.

Each customer’s credit amount will be based on the size of their water meter. This means that the credit would be proportional to a customer’s water use and the amount they pay on their monthly bill.

The credit is expected to be about $160 for the average residential customer and from $2,500 to $10,000 for most larger commercial customers. The credit is set to appear on customer bills as soon as possible, likely by July.

The Board action follows a court ruling nullifying Measure M, a voter approved measure that facilitated the transfer of money from Long Beach Water’s budget to the city of Long Beach’s general fund.

Courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the measure’s legality, ordering Long Beach Water to cease collecting revenues under Measure M and directing the city of Long Beach return $30.8 million to the department.

“We respect the court’s ruling that this money should have never been taken from our customers. I’m proud our Board came together today to do the right thing,” Board Vice President Gloria Cordero said. “Thank you to everyone who shared their input on this matter. I look forward to continuing to engage with our community during our budget discussions in the coming months.”

Thursday’s Board action marks the final of several steps to comply with the court decision and resolve all pending issues related to Measure M.

On March 31, the Board voted to return the initial city payment of $9 million to ratepayers in the form of a $100 one-time bill credit. On May 4, the board voted to reduce water rates by 2.54 percent to reflect no longer collecting rate revenue for the purpose of a Measure M transfer to the city’s general fund. That rate change was approved by the Long Beach City Council on May 10.

“Long Beach Water has done all we can to align with the court’s decision, and revenues collected under Measure M will soon be back in ratepayers’ pockets,” Long Beach Water General Manager Chris Garner said. “The Board’s action today gives us closure on the Measure M lawsuit. I look forward to a bright future for the department as we continue to provide exceptional quality drinking water and customer service to our community.”

The Board of Water Commissioners is set to continue discussing the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and rates at upcoming public workshops on May 26, June 9 and June 23. All meetings begin at 9 a.m. at Long Beach Water’s Administration Building, 1800 E. Wardlow Road.

For more information on Long Beach Water, visit LBWater.org.

 

###

ABOUT LONG BEACH WATER

As a recognized leader in water conservation and innovation, the Long Beach Water Department contributes to creating a sustainable community, develops collaborative partnerships, and fosters a quality workforce. To learn more visit lbwater.org. Follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram @lbwater and on Twitter @LongBeachWater.

LONG BEACH, CALIF. (MAY 12, 2022) — Residents and businesses will see a credit on their water bill in the coming months following a vote by the Board of Water Commissioners Thursday to return $21 million in Measure M funds back to ratepayers.

Each customer’s credit amount will be based on the size of their water meter. This means that the credit would be proportional to a customer’s water use and the amount they pay on their monthly bill.

The credit is expected to be about $160 for the average residential customer and from $2,500 to $10,000 for most larger commercial customers. The credit is set to appear on customer bills once Long Beach Water receives the Measure M funds from the city, expected by September.

The Board action follows a court ruling nullifying Measure M, a voter approved measure that facilitated the transfer of money from Long Beach Water’s budget to the city of Long Beach’s general fund.

Courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the measure’s legality, ordering Long Beach Water to cease collecting revenues under Measure M and directing the city of Long Beach return $30.8 million to the department.

“We respect the court’s ruling that this money should have never been taken from our customers. I’m proud our Board came together today to do the right thing,” Board Vice President Gloria Cordero said. “Thank you to everyone who shared their input on this matter. I look forward to continuing to engage with our community during our budget discussions in the coming months.”

Thursday’s Board action marks the final of several steps to comply with the court decision and resolve all pending issues related to Measure M.

On March 31, the Board voted to return the initial city payment of $9 million to ratepayers in the form of a $100 one-time bill credit. On May 4, the board voted to reduce water rates by 2.54 percent to reflect no longer collecting rate revenue for the purpose of a Measure M transfer to the city’s general fund. That rate change was approved by the Long Beach City Council on May 10.

“Long Beach Water has done all we can to align with the court’s decision, and revenues collected under Measure M will soon be back in ratepayers’ pockets,” Long Beach Water General Manager Chris Garner said. “The Board’s action today gives us closure on the Measure M lawsuit. I look forward to a bright future for the department as we continue to provide exceptional quality drinking water and customer service to our community.”

The Board of Water Commissioners is set to continue discussing the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and rates at upcoming public workshops on May 26, June 9 and June 23. All meetings begin at 9 a.m. at Long Beach Water’s Administration Building, 1800 E. Wardlow Road.

For more information on Long Beach Water, visit LBWater.org.

 

###

ABOUT LONG BEACH WATER

As a recognized leader in water conservation and innovation, the Long Beach Water Department contributes to creating a sustainable community, develops collaborative partnerships, and fosters a quality workforce. To learn more visit lbwater.org. Follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram @lbwater and on Twitter @LongBeachWater.

Menu

Water & Sewer System Design Guidelines