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CITY HALL JOURNAL

LYNWOOD : City Officials Postpone Increase in Water Rates

August 25, 1994|JOHN J. WAGNER

The City Council has indefinitely postponed a controversial 75% increase in water rates after citizens bombarded city officials with complaints.

Council members said they will hold a series of public meetings to explain why a rate increase is needed. No dates have been set.

"Dozens of calls have come in questioning (the increase) and that's what we want to answer," said Councilman Louis Heine.

Councilman Armando Rea said callers also were protesting a council decision to divert millions of dollars of water revenues for other purposes in recent years.

The council called a special meeting Monday morning to discuss postponement of the rate increase. Mayor Paul H. Richards II and council members Heine and Louis Byrd voted for the delay. Rea and Henning did not attend, saying they were given inadequate notice. They had opposed the initial decision to raise water rates.

City officials said the rates had remained unchanged for seven years and that the price of water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District had doubled over recent years. But officials acknowledged that the city also had transferred more than $4 million from the water fund into the general fund over the last seven years to help balance the budget.

City Manager Faustin Gonzales said other cities have similar policies.

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