The Stockton City Council voted unanimously (7 to 0) to contract out part of its utility billing services to California Water Service Group subsidiary CWS Utility Services.
According to California Water Service Group Chairman Robert W. Foy, a longtime Stockton resident and businessman, the contract will result in significant savings for the citizens of Stockton.
"I am pleased to see that the City of Stockton is taking this opportunity to save money. This partnership gives the city the ability to collect delinquencies that in the past have negatively impacted the city's general fund," Foy said.
Cal Water already handles water billing for the 54 percent of the city that it serves. With the new contract, Cal Water also will bill customers in its service area for wastewater, stormwater, garden refuse and garbage services.
Residents throughout the city will have the added convenience of receiving just one bill for all services from their water service provider, be it Cal Water or the city.
The new billing procedure will save the city money by reducing the number of delinquent accounts. Previously, the city was unable to collect approximately $2 million annually in unpaid wastewater, stormwater, garden refuse and garbage services, which impacted the general fund. With the new arrangement, delinquent payments for any services will result in interruptions in water service, which is expected to decrease the number of unpaid accounts. In its report to the City Council, city staff estimated that the city will save at least $750,000 annually as a result of the contract.
"We're looking forward to working with the City of Stockton on this project. We have provided water services in Stockton since 1926, and we are pleased to be able to work with the city to save citizens money and provide the added convenience of a single bill to our customers," said Paul Risso, Cal Water's Stockton District Manager.