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Articles

Golden State Water Wants Another Increase

By Daryl Kelley

The monthly water bill of the typical Ojai residential customer would be hiked 43 percent during  2011 and 2012, on top of a 30 percent increase two years ago, if the Golden State Water Company has its way.

That equates to a monthly increase of $26.43 over two years, if the customer has a 5/8-inch meter and uses 1,300 cubic feet of water, an amount the company says is typical for Ojai residents. Customers with larger meters and more usage would pay higher rates.
For all water customers, revenue gleaned through rate increases would jump 44.7 percent by 2012.
Golden State applied to the state Public Utilities Commission for the new rate increase on Jan. 4, and it hopes to implement most of the hike early next year after a 14-month review and appeals process.
First, it plans to air the proposal on Tuesday at a 6:30 p.m. informational hearing at the Nordhoff High School cafeteria. A presentation is also planned before the City Council at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Customers will be notified by mail next month, the company said.
Then, a hearing before an administrative law judge could be held in Ojai by April.
Ojai customers may also file protests with the California Public Utilities Commission’s Public Advisor’s Office. The address is 320 W. 4th St., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 930013 or e-mail, public.advisor.la@cpuc.ca.gov.
But if recent history is an indication, those hearings may not make a difference. An outpouring of protest in 2007 resulted in little reduction from Golden State’s requests. It received a 35 percent overall hike, including a nearly 30 percent increase for residential customers with small meters and   average water usage.
Now, Golden State officials say they need to raise millions more dollars.
“The new rates would cover the increasing costs to operate and maintain the local water system,” the company says in a press release, “and fund more than $8 million in local
The monthly water bill of the typical Ojai residential customer would be hiked 43 percent during  2011 and 2012, on top of a 30 percent increase two years ago, if the Golden State Water Company has its way.

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