City reaches out to Claremont residents to bolster case against water rate increases

Claremont officials are looking for help from their residents’ water statements.

Late last week, the city began collecting water bills—specifically those amounting to more than other combined utilities— to help further aid the fight against increasing water costs in Claremont.

The ongoing collection is the city’s latest initiative to provide evidence to the California Public Utilities Commission bolstering its case against Golden State Company’s proposed water rate spikes. If approved, the requested increases will become effective in January 2013.

“We are basically trying to reinforce our case to say ‘look, this is what our residents are facing…this is a common theme with their bills,’” said Claremont’s Public Information Officer Bevin Handel, who is also spearheading the city’s involvement in the case against Golden State Water.  “We want to change the way the CPUC handles water in comparison to other utilities.”

The CPUC reached out to Claremont last week to gather further evidence to substantiate claims made at hearings in November. Several residents, including Claremont City Council members, spoke out publicly about their concern over what they view as a “monopoly” of their water utilities. Mayor Larry Schroeder says that he has received several testimonies from locals who watched their water bill skyrocket over other the sum of their other utilities.

“After word got out we have had no problem in getting several more examples of those bills,” Mr. Schroeder said. “[These examples] will further strengthen our testimony.”

See our complete story in the Wednesday edition.

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