OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Oceanside residents will soon see a double-digit increase over the next two years after two years of no increase to their rates at all.
“Anytime we see something like this come forward, especially when cost-of-living generally is going up across-the-board and people are really struggling to make ends meet, this is considered very heavily,” Councilmember Eric Joyce said.
Councilmembers unanimously approved the new rates Wednesday.
The city says the increase is largely the result of rate hikes from where they’re receiving water from: the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District.
“We want to make sure rates are smooth and stable into the future. Having multiple years of 0% increases results in big spikes in the future in order to make up for the lost revenue over time,” said Lindsay Leahy, Oceanside Water Utilities Director.
Without the rate increase, the city might have needed to dip into reserve money or compromise capital improvement projects.
A 6% water rate increase will go into effect January 2024 followed by another 6% in 2025. Wastewater rates will see a 4% increase January 2024, with a 2.5% increase in 2025.
“Social security is slated to give us only a 3.2% increase,” Jimmy Knott said.
Other parts of San Diego are also seeing increases in water rates recently.
The City of San Diego approved a nearly 20% increase over the next two years and Escondido also recently approved a five-year plan with higher rates.
While the hike in Oceanside is lower, residents say they’ll still feel it.
“Our local businesses, restaurants, any entertainment will be losing in our city additional revenue from our lower income communities,” said Knott.
The first round of increases take effect for oceanside residents in just a couple months on January1.