After more than 30 meetings about water, Paso Robles Mayor Frank Mecham hopes that just two more will do the trick.
Mecham is vying to persuade residents that a proposed water rate increase is worth it to secure a reliable source of water for the city.
The increase would help pay for water infrastructure improvements, among them a treatment facility needed to take advantage of the 4,000 acre-feet of water that will become available from the Nacimiento Water Project in 2010. That project draws water from the reservoir and distributes it to five cities in San Luis Obispo County: Atascadero, Templeton, Cayucos, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
“I think we’ve done 34 or 36 workshops on water, but we’re going to do two more,” said Mecham, who will resign his post as mayor next year to take his seat as 1st District San Luis Obispo County supervisor, which he won in the June election.
Paso Robles ratepayers rejected an earlier rate increase proposal that eventually would have sent the average customer’s bills to $125 by 2016.
Mecham said the council intends to present a plan Oct. 21 for lower rate increases and a piecemeal construction process, a plan he hopes the constituents will accept.
The city will hold two informational meetings before then.