By Janis Mork
July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Helix Water District is looking to raise rates for its 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal years. For 2013-2014, proposed water rates for the domestic/ single customer - using 25 units bi-monthly - will increase six percent. Commercial/Multi-family customers will see a rate increase of three to eight percent.
The public can send letters protesting the rate increase by August 21. Letters should be sent to the Board Secretary at 7811 University Ave, La Mesa 91942. A public hearing will take place August 21 at the Helix Water District Administrative Office in the boardroom, 7811 University Ave, La Mesa 91942.
Helix Water District includes El Cajon, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, Santee, areas of Lakeside, and Unincorporated San Diego County.
Carlos Lugo, General Manager of Helix Water District, commented at a recent El Cajon Council hearing that more water that flows through the water treatment plant, "the unit price of water goes down. Historically, we’ve been importing 80-90% of water in San Diego County.”
Lisa Irvine, Director of Administrative Services, added, “We need to buy more water. The last couple years have been very dry.”
According to an article by Ted Salois of Public Affairs from Helix Water, “In recent back-to-back meeting days, Helix’s… board of directors approved a preliminary budget of $83.5 million for fiscal year 2013-14, and conducted a workshop in which staff presented a water-rate study covering fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15. Rate increases were recommended for the average domestic–class customer… The proposed rates are a result of a May 15 workshop where staff presented projection of costs facing the district and several rate structure scenarios designed to meet those obligations..” (http://www.hwd.com/news/budget-218.htm).