Study recommends hiking El Centro water rate

February 05, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The city of El Centro's water rate should increase by $2.09 monthly and its wastewater rate should go up by $6.82 during the next five years if the city is to remain fiscally sound while paying for capital improvements for growth and meeting regulatory laws and regulations, a new rate study says.

The City Council will be asked to accept the study and set public hearings to consider adopting the proposed rates.

The City Council meets in open session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1275 Main St.

Even with the proposed increases, the study states the city's monthly water rate would be among the lowest in the Imperial Valley, $27.96, up from the current $25.87. The rate would increase over a five-year period.

Based on a usage rate of 20,000 gallons monthly, residents in Brawley pay $39.25 monthly, while residents of Calexico pay $50.48. Residents of Imperial, Westmorland, Calipatria, Holtville and the Seeley County Water District also pay more than in El Centro. Customers of the Coachella Valley Water District and the Heber Public Utility District pay less.


The city would float $5 million in bonds in 2004 and $12.8 million in 2006 to help finance the needed capital improvements for water treatment improvements. The last water rate study was completed in 1994 and affected rates through 1997, the last time rates were increased.

For wastewater, El Centro customers would pay $32.73, up from the current $25.91. Again, the rate would increase during a five-year period. The new rate would give El Centro the highest local wastewater rate by the end of the five years. Residents of Brawley pay $18.35, while residents of Calexico pay $18.55. The city would float $6.5 million in bonds in 2004 to help with wastewater treatment upgrades. The last wastewater rate study was completed in 1997 and affected rates through 2001.

The rate study was commissioned by the City Council in September. The city supplies treated water and treats wastewater from about 8,000 customers.

The City Council will have a public hearing about 7 p.m. to consider accepting a housing condition survey, household income survey and housing needs assessment report.

In other business the council will consider:

· paying an Arizona company $24 a ton to remove biosolids from the city's wastewater treatment facility.

· a request by the Police Department to destroy records of various documents from 1977-1996.

· awarding a $58,153.10 contract for the purchase of traffic monitoring cameras and accessories.

>>Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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