A water rate hike that would boost the average homeowner's bill from about $17 to $20 a month was introduced Tuesday on a 4-1 vote by the Compton City Council.
The proposed increase, the first since 1984, city officials say, will be discussed again at the Sept. 5 council meeting. If approved, it would take effect in early October.
Councilwoman Patricia A. Moore cast the only vote against the rate hike, saying after the meeting that she was not satisfied that the Water Department staff had presented a clear picture of how it was spending its money.
According to a study commissioned last year by the city, there is a 38% gap between revenues and expenditures in the department's operating budget. To balance its annual budget, City Manager Howard Caldwell said in a report to the council, the Water Department has been meeting operating costs by cutting spending on capital improvements and maintenance.