The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday will consider raising the cost of water provided to its residents and those on the west side of West Hollywood, who already pay a 25% surcharge.
The proposed rate increase would take effect in January and would boost the bi-monthly water bill of the average single-family homeowner by $5.50 to $6.50 a month. The rate would be increased over each of the next five years, meaning an overall increase of about $30 at the end of the five-year period for the average homeowner.
The City of Beverly Hills furnishes water to households and businesses on an area of the west side of West Hollywood whose approximate boundaries are Doheny Drive on the west, Sunset Boulevard on the north, Flores Street on the east and Beverly Boulevard on south. The map posted above shows the boundaries
A report to the Beverly Hills City Council from Shana Epstein, the city’s director of public works, cites a study to quantify West Hollywood’s share of Beverly Hills water services expenses.
“The City of Beverly Hills pays for many services through the general fund that ensure the safety and reliability of water quality and delivery to all of our customers, regardless of location,” the report says. “These services include portions of Police, Fire and right-of-way maintenance related to water service. Because these services are paid for by Beverly Hills residential and business taxes rather than water rates, our regular rate process does not cover the West Hollywood customer’s portion of these costs. The additional 25% charge allows the City to recover for these water related expenses.”
In 1928, Beverly Hills purchased the Sherman Water Company, which provided water to the then-unincorporated west side of what was to become West Hollywood. In 1948, Beverly Hills started receiving water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which now serves the rest of West Hollywood. It also operates several groundwater production wells of its own which supply about 10% of its water supply.
The Beverly Hills City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. The West Hollywood West Residents Association is encouraging its members to attend the meeting to protest the increase. It also is encouraging them to deliver letters objecting to it. The letters cannot be emailed or faxed and, given the date of the meeting, must be hand-delivered to Beverly Hills City Hall. In an email to its members, WHWRA provided a link to a form that residents can use, sign and deliver to state their objection.