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FULLERTON : Meetings to Address Hike in Water Bills

Residents concerned about the proposed 6% water rate increase may address city officials at two public meetings in April and May.

The proposed rate increase would raise the average bimonthly residential water bill from $42.30 to $44.84, and would be used for water main repairs in the downtown area and to replenish cash reserves in case of drought, fire and other emergencies, water systems engineer Larry Sears said.

Public outcry over the proposed hike during a February City Council meeting prompted the council to arrange for additional public meetings.

During the February meeting, consultant William Ferry of Brown & Caldwell also recommended that the council adopt two additional water-rate increases during the next two years that would boost the total water rate by 19%.

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The increases are meant to raise $3 million for cash reserves. Without them, Ferry predicted, the city’s current $2.75-million reserve will be depleted by late 1995. The city’s total water budget, not including a reserve, is $14.5 million.

“If we have an earthquake and it’s depleted, then where do we get the money?” Sears said.

Opponents of the proposed water rate increase have suggested that the city trim its budget instead.

The public meetings are scheduled for April 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and May 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fullerton Senior Multi-Service Center at 340 West Commonwealth Ave.

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