DAVIS, Calif. - Davis residents can expect to see a large spike in their water bills over the next five years, after a rate increase was approved by the City Council Tuesday night.
According to the Davis Enterprise, the increase, which would triple the average water bill by 2018, was approved by 54.1 percent of those who voted.
Measure I was proposed to raise funds for the $113 million Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency surface water project. The project will provide Davis and Woodland homes and businesses with new drinking water from the Sacramento River.
Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk praised the passage of Measure I, citing the significance of the outcome.
"I respect the views of folks who did not agree with Measure I and who protested the rates tonight, but I am grateful that Measure I did pass; I think it's very important for our community," Wolk told the Davis Enterprise.
But former Yolo County Taxpayers Association president John Munn, who was in accord with the 46 percent who voted against Measure I, refuted Wolk's claim of the measure's necessity.
"I'm here to ask you to reconsider the proposed water project and the water rates change," Munn told the Davis Enterprise. "Many residents of Davis cannot afford to have their water rates tripled. And for each issue we have looked at specifically, it's just not necessary."
The first increase is scheduled to take effect May 1, raising the average water bill by as much as five percent. The next spike would hit on Jan. 1, 2014, when rates are projected to climb by an additional 20 percent, according to the Davis Enterprise.
The new rates are being challenged in a lawsuit filed by Yolo Ratepayers For Affordable Public Utility Services, alleging the rates are illegal under Proposition 218.
To prevent adoption of the measure outside of a courtroom, more than half of Davis' 16,500 ratepayers would have to file protests.