PORT RICHEY — Residents could see their water bills spike if the City Council approves a a proposed rate increase.
A first reading of an ordinance establishing the increase will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m., at Port Richey City Hall. Public input will be allowed.
The council will decide on a 3.5 percent increase for customers beginning in October 2014. The rate increase proposal is the result of a study the city commissioned after officials discovered that mobile home parks in Port Richey were paying more for water than other customer classes.
Port Richey City Manager Tom O'Neill has told the council a water rate increase is needed to upgrade the city's aging water system infrastructure. In addition, city workers discovered that a brown water outbreak several months ago was caused by saltwater intrusion in Port Richey's wells. As a result, the city cut back its production rate to half its daily needs of around 900,000 gallons a day and has been purchasing the rest of its needed water from New Port Richey.