CITY OF SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - The city proposed an approximate 27% increase in water rates could take effect starting October 1 if they do not receive protest ballots of over half the residents by August 2.
The City of Shasta Lake Manager John Duckett said that because of drought and water restrictions, the water utility has not been selling enough water to fund operations, which costs $2.7 million annually.
John said that in order for the utility to be maintained, water rates need to be increased regardless of how much water people are saving.
Some residents say that the hike is too much for them to afford.
"You're barely surviving paying your rent, and your utility company is important and you have to pay that bill, so it means you're barely surviving," said Valerie Wilson.
John said the city council does offer an approximate 20% reduced rate for low-income residents.
"The city council has put in a lifeline rate so that lifeline rate will be subsidized by the city of Shasta lake's general fund, and so we do have a reduced rate for low-income customers," said John.
He added that the city only had access to 25% of water from Shasta Lake last year, which makes it costly when they need to purchase water at a higher rate from a third party.
John also said that the only other source they can get water from is the McConnell Foundation.
He also said that the rate increase is not that much. He compared it to buying a bottle of water at the store, which roughly translates into the cost of 6,000 bottles of water through the tap.
The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate hike on August 2 at 6:00 p.m.