Seal Beach council adopts new water rates

The Seal Beach City Council voted 5-0 to revise the city’s water rates on Monday, April 12.

The rates will be lowered. Leisure World residents in particular will benefit from the new rates.

However, the new rates do not reward water conservation.

The decision came at the end of a public hearing that had continued from two previous council meetings.

On April 12, City Attorney Quinn Barrow reviewed the impact of Proposition 218 on the new water rates.

Barrow explained that Prop. 218 requires water rates to be based on cost only. They cannot be arbitrary and they cannot generate revenue for the city.

Barrow said that in August 2003, when Seal Beach water rates were last calculated, the projections for water rates were too high.

He said the new consultant recommended the current water rates be lowered.

City Engineer Michael Ho told the council that the Leisure World meter charge would go down.

The Leisure World retirement community is served by a single water meter, rather than water meters for each individual unit.

Katie Wilson spoke to the council on behalf of Willdan Financial Services, the city’s consultant on the new water rates.

Wilson said Leisure World had been reclassified as a residential account from a commercial account. She also said the water usage allotted to Leisure World had increased.

“Why did the meter rates go down?” asked District4 Councilman Gary Miller.

Wilson said the meter rates went down based on the cost.

Barrow said the consulting firm recommended changing the Seal Beach water rate from a four-tier system to a two-tier sy