PORT RICHEY — City Council members reduced irrigation water rates in response to residents' outcry.
The four-month rate reduction will be for small-scale users. The council voted Tuesday to reduce the rate from just over $9 to $7.01 for the first 8,000 gallons of water used. The change passed 4-1 with council member Steve O'Neill expressing reservations on the unplanned budget hit.
Mayor Eloise Taylor pitched the idea of the reduction after the city council was inundated with complaints since the board in October approved a new tiered water rate structure. Taylor said the reduction will provide relief and give the city time to gauge how much irrigation water will be used as watering ramps up.
She also suggested that the reduction only be implemented for four months to provide time for analysis and not hit the city's budget for a whole year, which was estimated to be a cost of $30,000. City staff is aiming for the reduced rate to appear on April's water bills.