Clovis could raise water rates by 20% beginning in January if the City Council approves a hike during a public hearing Monday.
The proposal also triggers future increases of 15% in July, 15% in July 2011 and 5% in July 2012.
The city's water enterprise fund has fallen after the city built a water treatment plant with the expectation of a continued housing boom.
With fewer new homes, there are fewer customers to share the costs, but the city has to pay off $44.3 million in bonds for the plant, canal upgrades, a water banking project and water lines, city officials say.
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The average household using 17,000 gallons pays $17.48 per month. In January, that rate is proposed to rise to $20.81, and when the increases end in 2012, the average rate will be $28.92. Customers are billed every two months.