Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/23/2011 01:20:36 PM PST

Highland residents can expect water rate increases.

In a 4-1 vote, the East Valley Water District board of directors on Tuesday approved increased sewer treatment charges between 16 percent to nearly 60 percent for some local commercial customers.

Kathy Brophy, who owns apartment units in the Highland and San Bernardino areas, said the increase means tenants will see higher rents.

“It just is so unfair and unfortunately we’re going to have the pass the costs on to the tenants, and it is substantial,” Brophy said.

Brophy faces a 16 percent spike in sewer treatment costs, in addition to an increase in usage fees, which she says will lead to her raising rents for her low-income housing units from $700 a month to $924.

Robert DeLoach, interim general manager for the water district, said new rates follow San Bernardino’s decision to raise its sewer rates in January.

Roughly 30 protesters attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“It’s one of those unfortunate circumstances where the customers most effected by it cannot go to the city of San Bernardino and protest it,” DeLoach said.

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