At its June 13 meeting, the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Governing Board adopted its preliminary budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and accepted and filed a Five Year Water Rate study. Over the next five years, the Authority will invest $72 million in water quality improvements, a new 36-inch transmission main pipeline, and necessary safety work to the Sweetwater and Loveland dams. This investment to continue delivering safe and reliable water to customers depends upon a proposed increase in water rates, the first since 2015.
“The costs to deliver the water service customers expect are rising, especially in California” said General Manager Tish Berge. “In the last five years, the wholesale cost of water in San Diego County increased 22 percent, and the cost to repair and replace aging pipelines increased 42 percent.”
The Authority will host a second Community Open House on Thursday, August 9, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the award-winning Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility (3066 N. Second Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910), to answer customer questions and to share information and other resources. Information on the event can be found at www.sweetwater.org/openhouse.
The Governing Board is scheduled to vote on a proposed rate increase to support this investment in water infrastructure at a public hearing on Monday, August 20, at 6:00 p.m. Proposition 218 requires local governments to provide written notice of a proposed rate increase by mail to its customers no less than 45 days before holding a public hearing on the proposed rate increase. The required notices were mailed to all customers on June 27. If approved, new rates would go into effect on January 1, 2019.