Directors of the Golden Hills Community Services District took the first step toward what will likely be a water rate increase for its nearly 3,000 customers later this year.

Meeting on Jan. 19, the board reviewed and approved a water rate study completed for the district by Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group of Bakersfield. Based upon a review of revenue and expenditures, the consultant recommended adjustments to the district’s water rate schedule. In addition to annual operating expenses, which include salaries and benefits of employees, the consultant reviewed capital expenditures such as new wells and well rehabilitation necessary to keep up the system, as well as reserves required to stabilize and support financial management.