It’s no secret that Monrovia’s water rates are rising, and many residents are less than pleased with the prospect of an average water bill increase of $16.87, and that estimate only covers single-family residential customers.
Now, Monrovia residents and water customers will have a chance to respond. A public hearing on the rate increases has been scheduled for Jan. 16, 2018. Public hearing notices will be mailed to customers next week, along with a breakdown of the proposed increases and the reason for them.
Additionally, those notices will include a protest ballot that can be returned to the City, to protest against the rate adjustment. State law says that certain fees and taxes (such as water rates) can’t be increased without public input.
According to Monrovia City Manager Oliver Chi, if a majority of affected customers protest the proposed rate hike, then the City Council will not be able to adopt the new water rates. On the other hand, if a majority protest does not occur, the increase could be adopted at the public hearing, effective as of March 8, 2018.
Ahead of the Jan. 16 hearing, several community meetings have been scheduled to inform residents about the rate hike:
- Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m., Library Community Room (321 South Myrtle Avenue)
- Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m., Library Community Room
- Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:00 a.m., Library Community Room
- Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m., Monrovia Community Center (119 West Palm Avenue)
- Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m., Library Community Room
The fees behind the water rates were levied on Monrovia by the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District. The increase is meant to address the purchase of 40.7 billion gallons of water needed to replenish the San Gabriel Valley’s groundwater aquifer after the recent decade-long drought.
“It is important to emphasize that all of these new costs are pass-through costs which will be paid to the San Gabriel Basin Watermaster and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District for the purpose of importing water into our region,” Chi said. Chi also said that a senior discount and economic hardship discount will be offered to residents who would struggle under the rate increase.