AVALON (AP) — Residents and business owners of Santa Catalina Island are fighting a proposal by Southern California Edison that would raise their water rates by 83 percent.

If state regulators approve the proposal, the nearly 2,000 Edison customers on the island could pay roughly nine times more than what those in Los Angeles pay.

Islanders tell the Los Angeles Times that the rate hike would force businesses to pass the cost on to tourists and drive them away.

Edison says the rate hike is necessary to recover $19 million it spent to improve its aging facility on the island.

It is proposing an alternative plan before the California Public Utilities Commission that would shift about $8 million of the increased costs to electric ratepayers on the mainland.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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