On Thursday evening, Aug. 17, the directors of the Lake Hemet Municipal Water District deferred making a decision on whether to increase water rates for Garner Valley customers.

After the public hearing on higher rates was held Aug. 10 at the Common Building in Garner Valley, the LHMWD board was scheduled to vote on Garner Valley and other district rates the following week.

After the meeting opened, President Frank Gorman said Director Rick Hoffman, who represents the Garner Valley area, wished to make a statement.

Referring to the previous week’s meeting, Hoffman said, “It was a pretty good crowd and they requested in writing to delay the adoption of he Garner Valley increase.

“Based on the staff recommendation and my thoughts, I will make a motion to table the resolution,” he announced.

The directors have asked General Manager Tom Wagner and staff to re-visit the proposed rate changes. When that has been concluded, Hoffman said a hearing will be re-scheduled.

Gorman offered Garner Valley residents the opportunity to speak Thursday, but no questions were raised.

The rate-increase proposal, which was presented at the Aug. 10 public hearing, consolidated the five water tiers into one. Currently, water usage rates range from $1.626 per 100 cubic feet (or about $0.0021 per gallon) to $3.711 per 100 cubic feet, when more than 250 cubic feet are consumed.

The proposal would unify the five tiers into one and the water cost would be $2.54 per 100 cubic feet for the first year and rise to $2.81 per 100 cubic feet in 2018.

In other business, Gorman announced that earlier in the day, the board had decided to promote Assistant General Manager Mike Gow to replace Wagner when he retires this fall.