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Water Rates Going Up In Val Verde, Acton

Leon Worden, SCV News

Residents of Val Verde and Acton who get their water from the public water utility will be paying more for it in 2013 and beyond, if the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approves a new rate plan Tuesday.

The typical single-family homeowner in Acton will see the biggest one-year increase as the average monthly rate jumps by $19.50 to $147.07 in 2013, versus $127.50 per month in 2012.

Val Verde residents will be paying $5.01 more next year, or $152.50.

Rates will inch upward thereafter through 2017.

According to a report from Public Works Director Gail Farber, the last time a rate increase was approved for County Water Works District 36 (Val Verde) was 2003; for District 40 (Acton) it was 1994.

The higher rates are needed, board documents state, because "the districts' costs currently exceed the proceeds received from water sales" – which is their primary source of revenue – so "the funding shortfall must be made up through increased water rates."

The districts need to "replace aging portions of the water system infrastructure" over the next five years, too, and that’s another reason the rates must go up, the documents state.

In Val Verde, the rates will increase by 3.4 percent in each of the next three years and 3.5 percent the following two years. The higher rates will generate $17,000 more for operations every year and $7,000 for upgrades, for a five-year total of $123,000.

Acton will see rates increase by 13.8 percent the first year (2013), 8.1 percent the second year, 6.1 percent the third year, and 3 percent in the fourth and fifth years, generating $38,000 annually for operations and maintenance and $28,000 for improvements, for a five-year total of $332,000.