Poway City Council approves water rate hikes
By Steve Dreyer
The typical residential water bill will increase by 3.5 percent starting next spring under a rate structure approved Tuesday night by the Poway City Council.
Sewer rates will not change.
In most cases, the increase would cost an extra $2.30 per month. Increases will also apply to commercial and industrial accounts.
The council’s unanimous approval came following a state-required public hearing at which three residents spoke in opposition to the new rates. Two speakers, City Council candidate Gary Vineyard and homeowner Tom Moore, objected to a provision where the city will no longer charge approximately 3,000 customers living in higher elevations for the cost of electricity to pump water. The city collects about $250,000 per year in those charges,.
Both Vineyard and Moore questioned the fairness of all ratepayers absorbing the cost of pumping water to those in higher elevations.
Assistant City Manager Tina White said the longtime policy was being eliminated because some of the water being pumped ends up in city reservoirs that serve the entire city.
Poway buys its water from the San Diego County Water Authority. That agency in turn purchases water from the Metropolitan Water District.
A report prepared for the meeting 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, 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.
State Proposition 218 required the public hearing. Notices were sent to 13,633 ratepayers. The law requires written protests from a majority of the ratepayers for the proposed increases to be blocked. City Clerk Linda Troyan told the council the city received 30 protests.
- Proposed water rate increase on agenda
- Poway City Council postpones Maderas water decision
- Budget report: Poway may owe state $18 million
Short URL: http://www.pomeradonews.com/?p=29495