We won’t see any increase in our water bills if the cost of the system is up to $80 million (if it is less, our bills would go down) so the Council originally planned to approve that amount themselves. However, rates will increase if the total cost is above $80 million. The City Council wanted to be sure Claremont residents are willing to pay somewhat higher rates for a limited time in order to acquire control of our water. That is why they asked the residents to approve additional bonds for up to $55 million which would bring us up to the worst-case scenario of $135 million.
After the City declined to accept the CAWA/GSW MOU (posted under Answers button on the website), the Council expressed willingness to continue talks. On July 31, they voted to enter an agreement with GSW to resolve some issues. One of the terms of the agreement was that the City measure would ask for approval to issue up to $135 million in revenue bonds, the sum of the amount that would not raise the rates ($80 million) and the additional “just in case” money ($55 million). This is not actually an increase in the amount the original bond asked the residents to express willingness to pay if necessary, since 80 + 55 always did equal 135, but GSW hopes just seeing the number will frighten people into voting ‘no’ on the bond measure.