Jim Steinberg,Staff Writer
Posted: 06/24/2012 03:11:16 PM PDT

RIALTO – The City Council will again take up the controversial water and sewer rate hike issue at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The proposal, which would boost water and wastewater rates 114.8 percent by 2016, survived a strong challenge fueled by a door-to-door and mail campaign by the Utility Workers Union of America.

The union has contract issues with New Jersey-based American Water Works Co. Inc. at various locations across the country.

On March 27, the council approved an agreement that would outsource the city’s water and sewer operations to American Water for 30 years.

That contract requires the approval of the rate increases to help fund millions of dollars in needed infrastructure improvements.

The union campaign produced about 70percent of the protest votes necessary to block the rate hikes but relatively few ratepayers filed protests on their own. The exact vote tally is to be revealed at the council meeting.

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