SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Water Authority voted Thursday to increase water rates by more than 7 percent, but San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said the hike will not be passed on to customers.
The CWA's rate increase was part of a $1.42 billion budget passed by the Board of Directors.
That's a 16 percent decrease from what was previously planned in a two-year outlook, and includes a $235 million drop in capital spending. The CWA also will lower department operating costs by 7 percent and eliminate the equivalent of 31 full-time positions.
The agency takes water from the main Southern California wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District, and passes it down to 24 member districts, such as the city of San Diego and Padre Dam Water District.
Sanders said the city will have to absorb $8.75 million in additional water costs.
"The cost of water is an enormous concern for everyone in this city, from the families trying to keep their households solvent to the businesses struggling through the worst economy since the 1930s," Sanders said. "We are doing everything in our power to postpone any future water-rate increases as long as possible."
Sanders said the city's Public Utilities Department is taking steps to hold the line on its costs. He accused the MWD of artificially increasing the water bills of San Diegans.
Evacuation orders were lifted Monday for people affected by the Gate Fire - which is now 95 percent contained.
The group behind the proposed SoccerCity development collected enough valid petition signatures to require the San Diego City Council to either consider approving the Mission Hills project or placing it before voters, the city clerk reported Monday.
Winter weather helped bring California out of a drought, but it also created the perfect environment for a wildlife to thrive. News 8's Brandon Lewis reports on some of the species taking over the mountains in San Diego.
It was the discovery of a lifetime for two local men who stumbled across a 1920's Model T left behind in a barn.
All beaches remain close in San Clemente Monday after more than two dozen sharks were spotted swimming close to shore. It's just the latest of several sightings in recent weeks. News 8's Heather Hope reports from John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
A local non-profit is working to improve ovarian cancer survival rates by guiding patients into a new frontier.
Voters may have the opportunity to decide on the future of San Diego's hotel tax. The city council Monday discussed whether Mayor Faulconer's proposed measure should appear on the ballot in a special election in November.
The Gate Fire, which has burned about 2,056 acres northwest of Dulzura, was 95 percent contained Monday. Cal Fire also reported that all evacuation orders and warnings were lifted in the fire area.
A Columbian artist born with no arms or legs is proving she is stronger than life's biggest challenges.
A brush fire blackened about 10 acres Monday in an open-space preserve near Cowles Mountain, spreading toward some homes but causing no reported structural damage or injuries.