DWP’s Proposed Water Rate Increase Moves Forward, Will Be on October 12 City Council Agenda

dwp-thumbCustomers of the Department of Water and Power may get a rate increase, pending a vote by the City Council of Big Bear Lake. The DWP’s proposed rate increases would affect the utility’s 15,677 residential and commercial customers, with the first phase taking effect in January 2010. As outlined by the DWP’s General Manager Joel Dickson, at two town hall meetings in September and again at yesterday’s Proposition 218 protest hearing, the first of the water rate increases averages nine percent overall, though would ultimately amount to less for full-time residents given the new rate design; a second increase of nine percent across-the-board would be applied to residential and commercial customers, as well as those in Rim Forest, in July 2011. At the October 6 hearing, Dickson explained that the DWP has cut costs, applied for outside funding and, in order to keep the water infrastructure updated and mainlines appropriately sized for fire suppression, he said, “The only thing left to do is raise rates. We believe there is justification for this.” In order for the rate increase to be pulled from consideration, a majority written protest was required of DWP customers. Thirty written protests were received for yesterday’s hearing at Northwoods and, of the dozen or so community members in attendance (others included DWP and city staff and the press), only three DWP customers spoke in opposition to the rate increase, those being Andrew Amerson of Big Bear Lake, and Sugarloaf customers Marge McDonald and Leonard Chaidez. Despite the efforts of your fellow DWP customers, the protests fall about 7,800 short. The DWP Board of Commissioners did vote on forwarding the increase to City Council and, given their unanimous decision, the first reading of the rate increase will be on Council’s October 12 agenda; a second reading and vote will follow and, as Dickson tells KBHR, “We’re trying to get this done in order to implement the first increase in January 2010.”

Rate changes for DWP customers were outlined in a Power Point presentation at Tuesday's protest hearing.

Rate changes for DWP customers were outlined in a Power Point presentation at Tuesday's protest hearing.

Related posts:

  1. DWP’s Water Rate Restructuring Is a Go; City Council Votes 3-2 in Favor of Water Rate Increase
  2. City Council Votes 3-2 to Go Forward With DWP’s Water Rate Restructuring
  3. Department of Water and Power Proposes Two Rate Increases; Three Public Meetings Scheduled Prior to City Council Vote