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Council Approves Water Rate Increase of 5.3% in November

October 21, 1987|SCOTT HARRIS | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the city's first water rate increase in two years Tuesday, calling for a 5.3% increase for most residents.

Mayor Tom Bradley is expected to approve the new rate, which would take effect Nov. 15.

The average monthly residential bill will increase by 87 cents, from $17.33 to $18.20, based on 1,800 cubic feet of water used. Officials emphasized that the city's rates are substantially lower than many other California communities.

A 3.1% rate increase was approved for low-income senior citizens participating in the Department of Water and Power's Lifeline program--an increase that mirrors the 3.1% rise in Social Security benefits that took effect in January, 1986. The average monthly bill for those customers will increase by 12 cents a month, from $3.98 to $4.10, based on 900 cubic feet of water used.

The rate hike is expected to provide the DWP with $13 million annually. The money will be used to "protect and improve water quality," said Councilman Marvin Braude, chairman of the council's Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

In addition to continuing the rehabilitation of aging facilities, such as water mains, the rate hike will help cover the increased operation and the new aqueduct filtration plant in Sylmar, officials said. The money will also help fund the construction of new groundwater pumping facilities in the San Fernando Valley and upgrade three facilities that do not meet seismic safety standards.

Despite the rate increase--the city's first since November, 1985--Los Angeles residents will still have relatively "moderate" bills, Braude said.

THE COST OF WATER The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday raised the price of water from $17.33 to $18.20, based on 1,800 cubic feet. Comparative prices listed by the Department of Water and Power:

Area Cost Inglewood $32 Marin County $26.92 Beverly Hills $25.05 Covina $24.04 Anaheim $21.91 Glendale $19.98 San Diego $19.86 Long Beach $18.30 Sacramento $6.90

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