Proposed water rate increase on agenda
By Steve Dreyer
The typical residential water bill would increase by 3.5 percent starting next year under a proposal to be considered Tuesday night by the City Council.
Sewer rates will not change.
In most cases, the increase would cost an extra $2.30 per month, according to a report prepared by Peter Moote, the assistant director of administrative services.
The council will discuss the report in a workshop format, meaning no decisions will be made. A public hearing is planned for Oct. 16. If approved then, the rate will take effect on Jan. 1 and will be reflected in bills mailed in March.
The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 13325 Civic Center Drive.
Poway buys its water from the San Diego County Water Authority. That agency in turn purchases water from the Metropolitan Water District.
Moote said that the city will pay about 10 percent more for its water next year, but that only part of that increase — the 3.5 percent — will be passed on to city customers. Several reasons account for this, he said, including a decrease in the city costs for delivering the water to homes and businesses. Contributing to the lower operating costs are fewer dollars being spent on employee salaries and benefits through layoffs and employees paying more to their pension fund.
Moote’s report notes that city residents have done a good job — until recently — of conserving water. In 2009 the median single-family home used 36 units of water in a bi-monthly billing period. (One unit is 748 gallons.) Today, the same home uses only 27 units.
For the past three fiscal years, total water consumption in Poway decreased an average of 12 percent each year, the report says. However, water consumption is projected to rise 5 percent during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Other agenda items for Tuesday’s meeting include:
• A new Perry Ford building at 12740 Poway Road. The owner wants to replace an existing showroom with a two-story, 17,500-square-foot sales center and offices. The matter was postponed from a meeting last month.
• A resolution reaffirming the city’s commitment to open government and compliance with the state’s open meeting law. (See editorial, page 9).
• Final approval of changes in the city’s regulations regarding registration at hotels and motels in the city.
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