LE MESA (CBS 8) Despite a chorus of angry protests by irate customers, the Helix Water Board approved a rate increase at its meeting Wednesday night.
The average household will be charged an additional $5.50 every two months as a result of the 4.7 percent rate hike.
Helix Water Board members say the increase is being driven by the increasing cost of supplying water to the region by the Metropolitan Water Authority, which is projecting a 16.6 percent increase in its price over the coming year.
At Wednesday's public hearing, several vocal opponents charged that the rate hike is helping to pay for an overly generous pension plan and other retirement benefits for Helix Water District employees.
The Board's president refutes that claim, countering that the district has done everything it can to cut down on its expenses, including cutting ten percent of its staff over the last few years.
The rate increase passed by a four-to-one vote by the Helix Water Board. Water Board member Kathleen Coates-Hedberg cast the sole dissenting vote opposing the hike.
This rate increase will go into effect beginning next month. Customers will see the additional cost in their November bill.
The Helix Water District includes La Mesa, El Cajon, Lakeside and Santee.
The San Diego Police Department has launched an internal investigation into a program intended to reward officers for making drug arrests.
Police were involved a pursuit late Saturday that ended with a deadly officer-involved shooting in Escondido.
Two people died early Sunday morning after a high-speed chase ended in a head-on crash in North County.
A man was shot and killed by police at an officer- involved shooting in Escondido, a sheriff's lieutenant said Sunday.
An approaching winter storm is poised to open an "atmospheric river" of subtropical rain clouds on Southern California this week, but the San Diego area is expected to see just a fraction of that moisture, forecasters said Sunday.
A man threw rocks at vehicles on Interstate 5 near Imperial Beach Sunday, and threatened police with a pickaxe as he ran into a riverbed.
San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins will make history Wednesday when she becomes the first woman and first lesbian to hold the California Senate's top job.
A 16-year-old boy was allegedly drunk when he crashed his car into a stopped vehicle, pinning a motorist between two bumpers, police said Sunday.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
A large plume of smoke filled the sky in Miramar on Saturday morning after a concrete supply building went up in flames.