Council postpones water rate discussion

City Hall postponed the discussion of proposed water rate increases Tuesday to give officials more time to reach out to commercial customers.

The changes include rate increases over the next four years that would boost Glendale Water & Power revenue by 2% in the first two years, and then 4% and 5% in the two consecutive years. Each customer’s bill will be affected differently since the new rates will be tiered so that those who use the most water will get a higher rate.

The tiered system won’t apply to commercial customers, but the rate increase and changes to fixed charges, such as fire line services, will.

Glendale Water & Power officials say the rate change is needed to pay for capital improvement projects and bring the utility back into the black. It currently has a $13.5-million deficit.

Earlier this month, Glendale Water & Power officials hosted several community meetings throughout the city to explain the rate revamp. Last Friday, officials also hosted a meeting for large commercial customers.

The City Council and Glendale Water & Power Commission have also had multiple discussions about the rate changes starting about four months ago.

The number of public meetings has been slightly higher than when the city increased water rates in the past.

“The proposed tiered structure and revenue increase is also a little more complex than what we have had in the past, which was just a percentage increase, so more education is important so that customers understand how the rates will work,” utility spokeswoman Atineh Haroutunian said.

The City Council is now slated to take up the rate changes at meeting on March 20.

-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Twitter: @brittanylevine

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