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Public Hearing on Water Rate Increase Scheduled For Next Monday

Pasadena City Council will hold a public hearing on June 3, to consider the adoption of adjustments to the existing water rates and rate structure

Published on Monday, May 27, 2024 | 5:05 pm

The Pasadena City Council will hold a public hearing on June 3, to consider the adoption of adjustments to the existing water rates and rate structure.

The Council voted in April to hold the meeting which could lead to bill increases for residents starting as soon as July 1. If the new rates are approved, a typical family currently paying $64 per month could see their bill increase by about $14.

The proposed increases in Pasadena mirror a national trend of rising water costs, with average water and sewer bills across the country increasing by 41.2% percent over the past 12 years, according to Bluefield Research, as reported by The New York Times.

The City Council has already voted to increase sewer and refuse rates.

City staff is recommending switching to a “Tiered by Customer Class” structure in which price increases would vary based on customer class (single-family residential, multi-family residential, or commercial), water meter size, and usage volume.

Under the city’s current “Tiered by Meter Size” rate structure, the amount of water allocated in each pricing tier is based on meter size, with revenue from each component recovering specific costs.

“Different customer classifications represent diverse water use purposes and patterns, with differing cost implications to the system,” according to an April city staff report. The new structure aims to better align rates with the costs of serving each customer group.

To help customers understand the potential impact, Pasadena Water and Power is developing an online rate calculator and will be updating its website with educational materials and videos ahead of the hearing.

In February, the Municipal Service Committee of the Pasadena Water and Power was tasked with expanding its analysis of alternative “Water Budget-Based Tiered Rates” after studying the successful implementation of such rate structures by utilities like the Eastern Municipal Water District, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, and Irvine Ranch Water District.

Notices detailing the recommended rate adjustments were scheduled to be mailed to all water system customers 45 days before Monday’s public hearing to comply with Proposition 218 requirements.

Following the hearing, the City Council is scheduled to conduct a first reading of the rate ordinance the same night and a second reading on June 10.

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