By Ed Martin, Editor

The Lemoore City Council, in a 4-1 vote, decided to increase water rates following a public hearing at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The increases are designed to help offset a $500,000 water fund shortfall due to decreased revenue from ongoing drought restrictions.

Councilmember Billy Siegel was the only member to vote against the water rate hikes.

The rate hikes apparently sat well with the public. Following months of public information meetings as well as a required Prop. 218 requirement, which requires local governments to notice the public about proposed fee increases, there was only one letter of opposition submitted. There was little or no opposition during the meeting.

City Council Agenda for Aug. 16

The city was required to provide notice of any proposed fee increases at least 45 days prior to a public hearing.

The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017 with up to 30 percent increases each year through 2020.

Capital improvement projects call for spending upwards of $33 million over the course of a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), including an $18 million price tag for Trihalomethanes (TTHM) compliance. Trihalomethanes are potentially harmful byproducts formed when chlorine or other disinfectants used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water.

City officials also plan to rebuild the north well transmission line at a cost of 5,950,000.

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