Apr 5, 2011 6:45 AM by Bethany Tucker, KSBY News

Paso Robles holds hearing on new water rate structure tonight

Paso Robles city leaders debut a revised, uniform water rate structure at the city council meeting Tuesday night.

The new water rate structure is based on how much water a customer uses. It gets rid of a current $18 fixed monthly charge. Then, beginning January 1, 2012, folks would be charged $2.50 per unit. The rate eventually climbs to $4.40 per unit by January 2016. A unit is equal to 748 gallons of water.

In terms of customer bills, the city says the average single family using 13 units of water each month would see their current monthly bill of about $35.00 rise to about $57.00 by 2016.

The City says this water rate change would affect 11,000 homeowners in Paso Robles. In the even that a majority of those homeowners are against the water rate hikes, the new water rate structure can not be adopted by the city council.

The water rate hikes are being put in place so the city can pay for its portion of the Nacimiento Pipeline Project and to pay for a new treatment plant. Although, it could be another seven years before Paso Robles can get water from the pipeline, due to ongoing lawsuits stemming from the water rate increases.

To take a look at Tuesday night's city council agenda, click here.

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