Fresno Water Bills Could Double or Triple; City Considers Rate Hike

Get ready to see your water bill double in the next few years.

The city of Fresno is poised to hike water rates starting next month, partly because it wants to build a new water treatment plant.

City officials say it'll cost about $400 million to upgrade the city's water system and infrastructure -some pipes and pumps are 50 to 90 years old.

But the big expense is building a new water treatment facility, which city officials say we need because our underground water supply is dwindling.

Some Fresno homeowners say they might have to let their lawns die because of the rate increase.

"It would be way over $150 a month, the water," said Grace Pope.

That's how much she expects her water bill will be -if she wants to keep her lawns, trees, and plants alive.

Right now, she pays nearly $70 a month for water.

"I wish they didn't have to raise it that high all at once," she said.

Several upset water customers gave city officials a piece of their mind Monday afternoon at a town hall meeting in northeast Fresno.

Here's what the city is proposing - the fixed rate is $13.50 right now for one inch pipes, that's the size found in most homes.

By 2016, it'll go up to $19.00.

And the rate charged for water usage will more than double, from 75 cents per unit to $1.63 per unit.

The city says, a typical monthly water bill could go up, from nearly $25 a month, to about $48 a month.

"How's it going to affect me? We'll let everything die," said Bud Pope.

He doesn't want to see his beautiful backyard dry up but he doesn't think it's fair that the city is putting such a big burden on water users.

"I just don't want to do it this way.{} I don't want to subsidize them, when they should've had it done a long time ago," said Pope.

If the water rate hikes are approved, the higher rates will go into effect next month, September 17th.

But Fresno residents still have a chance to protest the rate hike, by voicing their opinions at one of many town hall meetings, or at a public hearing.

Town Hall Meetings on Fresno City Water Rate Hike Proposal:

Tuesday: Romain Park Gymnasium, 745 N. First St., 5:00 p.m., {}and Central Community Church, 4710 N. Polk Ave.{}5 p.m.

Wednesday: Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave 5:00 p.m.

Thursday{}Bullard High School Cafeteria, 5445 N. Palm Ave., 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 12:{} Sunnyside High School, 1019 S. Peach Ave.{}5:00 p.m.

Aug. 13:{}Mary Ella Brown Center, 1350 E. Annadale Ave 5:00 p.m.

Aug. 14:{} Fancher Creek Elementary School, 5948 E. Tulare Ave. 5:00 p.m.

Aug. 15:{}Public hearing, Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St., 5:00 p.m.