Orange Cove testing new rates and residents saw a significant jump in cost of water

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At the bottom of every water bill in Orange Cove, there are two sets of numbers--the current price and a predicted price.

Jesus Figueroa has several bills dating back to June--some with a difference, he just cannot believe.

"It's too much money, it's like four to five times more than we pay before," said Figueroa.

The higher end bills do not seem to add up, possibly because of new billing software.

Figueroa's most recent one is likely more accurate. It includes the new metered rate on top of a base fee, plus garbage and sewage. In the future, the first 10,000 gallons a month could cost him $40.51, which is an increase of about $10.

Every 1,000 gallons after that will cost an extra $2.21.

Mayor Victor Lopez says this was all approved by voters in 20 to 13 to promote conservation and pay for a $1.5 million loan to install the meters.

"We're still on a trial basis, right now we're just showing the people."

This is the final month of the trial phase and Lopez says the city is still trying to figure out whether it will work.

"I'm very cautious of that, of the low-income status of a lot of the citizens in the community. I have to be very careful that I don't overcharge them and that they're able to pay that."

A steep increase could be tough for many and some people, like Francisco Figueroa question whether they would even want to stick around to see it happen.

"If we're going like that--I'd rather go to another town and pay."
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