San Diego City Council approves water rate hike - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego City Council approves water rate hike

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CNS) - The San Diego City Council voted today to approve a  7.75 percent water rate increase.

Starting Jan. 1, a water bill for a typical single-family home in San  Diego will increase by $4.73 a month to $65.76, according to a report from the  Water Department.

It will be the sixth rate hike since 2007.

Jim Barrett, director of the Water Department, told the City Council the  increase is needed to offset the higher cost of imported water from the San  Diego County Water Authority.

"This is driven specifically by an increase at the County Water  Authority," he testified.

The City Council voted 5-2 to approve the rate increase. Council members  Donna Frye and Carl DeMaio cast the dissenting votes, and Council President  Ben Hueso was absent.

DeMaio said it was the wrong time to raise water rates.

"San Diego working families are having a hard enough time right now as  it is with this economy making ends meet," DeMaio said. "For us to add to  their troubles during this economic downturn with yet another water increase is  not something I think is appropriate or doable for them."

About 14,000 protests against the water rate increase were received by  the San Diego City Clerk's Office. Had more than half of San Diego's 270,000  water customers returned a form protesting the increase, it would have been  rejected under provisions outlined in Proposition 218.

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