VENTURA : Water Conservation Efforts May Lead to Rate Increases

Ventura residents may see their water and sewer bills rise by an average of 12.9% under a staff proposal the City Council will consider Monday.

The increase is being proposed primarily because of the water conservation efforts of residents.

More people are using less water, thereby qualifying them for a lower billing rate, said Everette Garmon, the city's revenue manager.

That results in a drop in revenue.

Under the proposal, the average bill of $55.73 every two months would increase by $7.19, he said.

Of the increase amount, $2.77 is for sanitation costs, and $4.42 is for water.

The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal May 18.

The proposed rate increase follows a flat $1.15 boost in water rates last year. The new increase would also help pay for repairs and upkeep of the city's water and sanitation system.

"When we sell less water, it doesn't cost less to operate," Garmon said.

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