*Editor's note: This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. to elaborate on reasons stated for the potential increases.
The Beaumont City Council will vote Tuesday on increasing the fees residents are charged for trash and sewer services.
According to a staff report for the March 5 meeting, those increases would total nearly $10 a month: $1 more for trash, and $8.43 more for sewer.
The staff report explains that since the last increases, more than five years ago, it's gotten more expensive to run the services. Two main reasons are cited for the reason behind the potential increases: energy costs, which have gone up "from operating more lift station service areas," and inflation.
The city commissioned a study of current fees from 33 other agencies in the region, to see how Beaumont compares in cost.
"The study found that 12 agencies of the 33 sampled in the region currently charge over $40 per month for sewer service," the staff report states.
Banning charges $19.11, fairly comparable to Beaumont's $21.25. However, nearby Calimesa and Yucaipa each charge $40.43 per month, while Adelanto charges $61.06, according to the staff report.
That staff report further states that sewer fees haven't been increased in town since Dec. 2006, and that if rates were adjusted to reflect inflation since then, the cost would be greater than what staff is proposing.
"In order to fund projected increases in basic service costs and regulatory costs, the proposed resolution would authorize increasing sewer service charges for dwelling units and equivalent dwelling units in the city by $8.43 to $29.68 per month and as necessary thereafter for five years to keep pace with increasing operations and regulatory costs," the report prepared for council states.
As for trash fees, those haven't increased since Aug. 2007. Before that, they were $18.50.
"Since that time, the contract service costs and disposal costs have more than offset costs savings from operational efficiencies and a decline in residential disposal amounts due to recycling," the report says, adding that nearby Cherry Valley charges $26.20 per month for trash pick-up.
If approved, the higher fees for both items will be effective beginning July 1, according to the staff report.
What's more, council will have the authority to increase both fees as necessary for the next five years, "to keep pace" with increasing costs, the report says.