City Council deciding on SAWS rate increase

8.4% proposed increase would result in $3.50 increase on average bill

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The San Antonio City Council is set to make a decision on an 8.4 percent San Antonio Water System rate increase sometime on Thursday.

The proposed rate hike has drawn plenty of criticism, however.

During Thursday morning's council meeting, SAWS officials spent the morning laying out reasons why the increase is needed, noting that San Antonio has the lowest rates of any major city in Texas.

That 8.4 percent increase would equate to about $3.50 on an average bill.

Sewer repair and a desalinization plant were at the top of the list when it comes to needs for the increase.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of opposition, with some calling for an audit of the utility.

Councilman Carlton Soules represented the only vote against. He is asking for a smaller increase in neighborhood of 6 percent.

President of the Taxpayers Association Bob Martin was perhaps most vocal in his opposition, calling SAWS a monopoly.

"We're very mindful that SAWS is a ratepayer-funded monopoly ... in the marketplace," he said.

The City Council will be voting on an adjustment to the Drought Management Plan, which would means changing times at which residents can water.


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