A 36% increase in the sewer service rate in four years is an unreasonable imposition on the citizens of Redlands in a time of COVID-19 pandemic and the hopeful economic recovery when many individuals have lost their businesses and jobs.

Despite this, the citizens of Redlands supported a 1% increase in local sales taxes implemented this month. Additionally, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a 19%-a-month power rate increase for Southern California Edison residential customers and an 80% increase for businesses that may consume at most approximately $85 a month for electricity.

Furthermore, the cost of gas, food, medicine and other goods and services have created a significant economic impact on families within our city.

California reportedly suffered the nation’s fourth-smallest job recovery and fourth-highest unemployment rate over the past 12 months of the pandemic.

Under these circumstances, I encourage the citizens of Redlands to request that the City Council not accept the proposed sewer-service rate increase at this time and postpone consideration for an additional year. This will allow time to assess the recovery from the pandemic as well as the city’s economic recovery.

Stephen C. Teele, Redlands