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City issues statement on latest round of water rate increases

Claremont officials maintain their opposition to a proposed water rate increase after an administrative law judge recently recommended the CPUC raise rates to 16 percent in 2013 for Golden State Water Company’s Region 3. The judge also recommended a 2.7 percent increase in 2014 and 1.8 percent increase in 2015.

In July 2011, the water company requested a more than 24 percent water rate increase for 2013 with additional, smaller increases to be added in 2014 and 2015. The appeal was followed by a series of protests from the water company’s customers, many in Claremont, upset about yet another set of rate increases.

“While we appreciate that the proposed decision does not recommend the entire increase originally sought by Golden State, the end result would still be another double-digit water rate increase on our residents,” said City Manager Tony Ramos in a statement released Tuesday. “Given that Claremont is required to follow the rate application process that applies to investor-owned utilities, our residents have a limited voice when it comes to their rates and the future of the water system.”

The city moves forward with negotiations in hopes of acquiring its water system, though the water company has made it clear they are not interested in selling.

“The Claremont community remains united in its opposition to the significant rate increases being sought by Golden State. While the efforts of the city and our residents may have helped in the fight against Golden State’s application, rate increases of this magnitude are still not acceptable,” Mr. Ramos continued. “As long as Claremont is served by Golden State and subject to the CPUC rate setting process, we will continue to pay higher rates for our water when compared to our neighboring cities that are not served by Golden State.”

The COURIER will continue to post city water news as it develops.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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