Paso Robles facing water rate hike
April 6, 2011
Paso Robles City Council continued on Tuesday night to work toward raising water rates to pay for the cities share of the recently completed Nacimiento Water Project. [Tribune]
Council members voted unanimously to approve a proposal to adopt a water rate increase, their sixth attempt at a rate increase since 2007. On April 19, the council will vote on whether or not to approve the proposal.
In May, the Council approved the same rate increase prompting Concerned Citizens for Paso Robles to file a lawsuit that claimed the increase should be considered a special tax, requiring a two-thirds vote under state law.
However, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman in October did not agree and ruled that the increased rates are not a special tax. In support of Concerned Citizens, he rule that the mailers sent out by the city did not accurately describe the reasons for the rate hikes.
In February, the council approved new notices that describe its reasons for raising rates.
Concerned Citizens spokesman John Borst said his group will determine how to battle the the rate hike if the council votes to approve the fee increase proposal on April 19.
The current proposal is a rate increase based on individual water usage that drops the $18 fixed fee that appears on bills now. Rates would go up incrementally starting at $1.32 per 748 gallons used before reaching $4.40 per unit in 2015.