Grover Beach delays decision on water rates increase

The Grover Beach City Council this week delayed a decision on whether to raise water rates, continuing the discussion to its July 6 meeting.

City officials say the increase is needed in large part to pay for the city’s share of $26 million worth of upgrades at the Lopez Lake reservoir.

The city received 71 written protests to the rate hikes. The city would have needed written protests from more than 50 percent of all water uses – or 2,407 people – in order to stop the process of raising the rates, said City Manager Bob Perrault.

The council asked staff to analyze whether it would be possible to increase water rates in phases.

If approved as proposed at Monday’s meeting, the rates would rise at least 30 percent starting next month, with a 2 percent increase in July 2011.

The increases are based on how much water is consumed and the size of the consumer’s meter.

A residential customer using 22 units of water with a 1-inch meter, for example, would see the bi-monthly bill increase nearly $29, to $94 from $65.30. Commercial customers using 12 units of water with a 1-inch meter can expect to see their bill increase to $122.70 from $69.42, Perrault said.

A unit of water is equal to 784 gallons.

-- Cynthia Lambert