More than 150 people attended a Monday evening meeting to voice their opposition to a proposed water rate increase.

Earlier this year, the Linda County Water District sent a letter to customers proposing a doubling of water rates for more than 4,575 residential and commercial accounts that serve about 18,000 people.

“We had about 150-200 people show up at the meeting and about 20 people addressed the board,” said Linda County Water District general manager Brian Davis. “The board didn’t take action but we got many requests from the public.”

If adopted, the increase would go into effect Nov. 1, but Davis said the board will consider an option to spread out the rate increase over several years.

“The board didn’t vote on Monday night but they will act based on the meeting and public comments,” he said. “The discussion was about the possibility of spreading the payment increase over five years with a 3 percent each year.”

Heather Morton was at the Monday meeting and was one of several residents within the district who rallied the community by writing up petitions, getting them signed and turning them in to the district in protest to the proposed rate increase.

“Unfortunately the proposed increase will still go into effect but the board was very receptive and listened to all of us who wanted to speak,” she said. “We had about 220 petitions but about 2,000 were needed.”

Davis said the board continued the action on the rate increase until the next board meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Sept 9, at 7 p.m. at 1280 Scales Ave., Marysville.

“The board listened to us and sympathized with us and the general manager really listened,” Morton said “The board agreed to look for local, state and federal grants or bonds as an alternative way to pay for what’s needed.”

Davis said he will be sending a report to the board within a week or so that will outline potential options for the rate increase ahead of the September meeting, at which time the board will vote.

“We have to count the protests and I anticipate the plan will be to have incremental rate increases,” he said.

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