By Jim Tortolano
Water rates will be going up in Westminster starting on Thursday. The City Council voted 3-1 to approve a proposed new schedule of water charges at its meeting Wednesday night. Councilman Sergio Contreras voted against it and Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep left the meeting before the vote was taken.
According to a report from Public Works Director and City Engineer Marwan Youssef , a typical single family household customer now paying $29.84 per month will see an increase to $33.35 as of Nov. 9 of 2017, and then a hike to $35.15 in November 2018.
Councilwoman Margie Rice argued in favor of the increase, while Contreras asked for more time to consider the plan, which goes into effect one day after the vote. “I don’t like being under the gun,” he said.
Also Wednesday night, the council voted 4-1 – with Rice opposed – to approve a conditional use permit for the sale of beer and wine at a convenience store at 6702 Westminster Blvd.
Originally rejected by the city planning commission, the revised proposal calls for reduced hours of liquor sales and a locking cabinet for beer and wine. Western Fuels, which owns the store and adjacent gas station, had initially wanted to sell alcohol from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., but changed its proposal to 6 a.m. to midnight.
Rice argued against the permit, saying “the area is oversaturated with liquor licenses.” The police department was also opposed, but included a list of 14 conditions to be applied if the permit was granted.
Finally, after much discussion, the council voted to approve with liquor sale hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., along with the requested police conditions, with a review of the permit after one year.