Facing a potential bankruptcy, Atwater is looking at every account for ways to boost revenues and restore balance to its books. In a city where water rates haven’t increased since 1992, that was probably the first account to be checked.

Now, the Atwater City Council has approved a plan that would increase rates for typical users by 150 percent over the next five years.

The plan, which was a compromise between two proposed increases – one that called for doubling rates and one that called for quadrupling rates – will boost the typical water bill by 40 percent in February, and a series of 15 percent increases would take place over the next 5 years. Even after the increases, water rates would just be about average for the region.

The increases, while significant, are not finalized. Should more than half of water users protest the increases, the plan will be scrapped. Currently, non-metered water users pay $15.65 per month for water.

Read the full story at the Merced Sun Star.