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BWP Raising Rates Is Unacceptable

Why is the Burbank City Council wasting time, money and resources in promoting a public hearing regarding the pending substantial rate increases for water, sewer and refuse services?

It’s a done deal. The council and the public know that to be a fact. Despite past protests, the City Council is not known to deny rate increases requested by Burbank Water and Power.

The brochure that was provided to BWP customers once again refers to the tired phrase “rising operational costs” to bolster its justification for the rate increases. As in the past, there is no explanation as to what that actually means — does it translate to BWP employee benefits or pension increases?

BWP uses numbers and slick presentation to prove the need for large rate increases in excess of 8% per utility service, but the source of the numbers is not revealed for verification. Their breakdown of how water rate funds are actually spent reveals very little. BWP is also quick to state that its rates will be lower than those of many municipalities, as if to imply that its customers should be thankful for an increase of only 8% or 9%.

BWP claims to be a nonprofit utility that represents us, but it refused to enforce its own watering restrictions for the worst water wasters during the long drought. The excessive water waste affected all of us.

Thomas Saito

Burbank

First published in the May 27 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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