Putting the Squeeze on Bell

Residents of the city of Bell don’t get a break. Now it has to do with the cost of water service, which is putting a severe squeeze on many residents in this working-class city who have already been hit with high taxes by the corrupt former administration and by the insistence of the local police on impounding cars right and left.

It seems like a bad joke, but people are now being billed hundreds of dollars for water. Some bills reach between $500 and $800 for two months of service.

The local government has summoned the water company, Golden State Water Company (GSWC) to appear and explain the reasons for these rates, which are far higher than those paid by residents of neighboring cities which get their water from the same company.

The Central Basin Municipal Water District General Manager has taken the company to task, demanding an explanation for the indiscriminate increase in its rates, pointing out that the wholesale rates for water in the region are uniform, and there is no apparent reason for this discrepancy.

Back in July, the company filed an application with the State of California for permission to raise its rates by 3 – 3½% over the following two years to pay for new investments and improvements in the infrastructure, but the current rates appear to be way out of line. GSWC, a subsidiary of American States Water, is the water provider to twenty-some municipalities in the region, including El Monte, Carson, Downey and Culver City. However, the bills sent out to the residents of Bell certainly take the cake. Residents and their representatives deserve a proper response from the water company.