Commerce Water Rates Expected To Go Up

The public has a chance to be heard at hearing on Tuesday night.

By EGP News Report

Water bills for businesses and residents in Commerce could go up because the cost of buying water from districts managing or selling Southern California’s water supply has gone up “unexpectedly,” according to the city.

California Water Services, or Cal Water, is the company that operates the City of Commerce’s water system. They service 1,162 customers – 31 percent are residential and 49 percent are business or industrial customers.

Cal Water is proposing to only make “pass through increases” due to recent unforeseen increases from the Central Basin Municipal Water District and the Water Replenishment District.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Bowden (www.digitallyrefreshing.com)

The City of Commerce will hold a public hearing at their regular council meeting on Tuesday night, Feb. 1 at 6:30 pm. After hearing from the public, the city council will decide if it will approve the rate increase.

The suggested rate increases will result in a 3 percent increase in the water bill of someone using 17 ccf of water per month. This translates to a 98 cent increase per month in the water bill.

The increase reflects a 1.7 percent increase last July, and a 5.8 percent increase that went into effect the first of this year, by the Central Basin Water District. The Water Replenishment District also increased its replenishment charges by 11.3 percent.

The Central Basin Municipal Water has recently come under the scrutiny of the District Attorney’s office after it received a complaint of excessive travel expenses, as much as $25,000, incurred by board members, including the one representing the local area.

An surcharge to pay for the construction of a recycled water pipe, currently under construction through Pico Rivera and Montebello, was also a controversial issue among rate payers last year.

That surcharge is part of the current increases that Cal Water may be passing through to Commerce rate
payers at Tuesday night’s meeting.

More information about the public hearing is available in a staff report (3.7 mb PDF) prepared by the city.

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January 31, 2011  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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