The Visalia City Council announced this week that it reluctantly signed a settlement to accept a rate increase from California Water Service, the water utility that serves most homes and business in the city.
Selma, which also relies on Cal Water, reached a similar settlement.
Both cities had opposed the utility's rate hike proposal and reached the settlement after the California Public Utilities Commission gave them "intervenor" status to argue with the company for lower rates.
If the settlements are accepted by the California Public Utilities Commission, water bills will rise less than the original proposal called for: 28.3% over three years in Visalia, and 24.6% in Selma.
Under the settlement, water rates in Visalia would increase 17.8% the first year, and maybe by another 7% over the next two years, the city said.
In Selma, rates would increase 9.9% the first year, and maybe by another 5.9% over the next two years.
The Public Utilities Commission is expected to rule on Cal Water's rate hike proposal next year.
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