THOUSAND OAKS : Water Customers to Pay 8.8% More

Thousand Oaks and Westlake residents will pay about $3.65 more per month to help offset increases incurred by the California Water Service Co., an official said Thursday.

The increase, which will affect 6,442 metered customers in Ventura County, went into effect Monday. It will increase the average water bill of customers from $41.65 to $45.30, or by 8.8%, said Hugo Luke, spokesman for the California Public Utilities Commission.

The rate increase will generate $397,400 in additional annual revenue needed to offset a $629,600 increase in the cost of water purchased from the Russell Valley Municipal Water District, which raised its rates July 1, Luke said from PUC headquarters in San Francisco.

Other reasons for the higher rate were increases in the cost of power purchased from Southern California Edison Co., postage costs and in "uncollectibles," or money lost by the company to customers who don't pay their water bills, Luke said.

Ken Roed, vice president of corporate communications for the California Water Service Co., which is headquartered in San Jose, said the total effect of $616,100 is the same amount it costs his company to continue supplying water to Westlake District customers.

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