The Los Angeles City Council formally approved Tuesday a 5.9% increase in water rates beginning April 1, amounting to an average $1.25 monthly hike for residential users.
Faced with questions about the need for an increase when the Department of Water and Power has a $30-million surplus, the council initially balked last fall at approving the rate increase as of Oct. 1, 1989.
Last week, after the DWP agreed to delay the increase until April 1, the council tentatively approved the hike. But since the 11-2 vote was not unanimous as required, the measure was considered again Tuesday, when only a majority was needed. With no debate, the council voted 11 to 1, with the only dissenting vote coming from Councilman Hal Bernson who thought the rate increase could be further delayed.