GEARHART - Gearhart residents will pay 5 percent more for their water, beginning Aug. 20.

The minimum monthly cost of $23.31 per 3,740 gallons will increase to $24.48 per month for residential customers.

For use beyond the minimum, the cost will be $6.44 per 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons, up from the current $6.13.

The rate hike is a result of an increase in water costs approved by the city of Warrenton, which supplies water to Gearhart.

"Gearhart is not making any money on this," noted Mayor Kent Smith during a City Council meeting Wednesday night. "This is a cost that has been passed on from Warrenton."

This is the second consecutive year that Gearhart has experienced a water rate increase.

City Administrator Chad Sweet told the Council that construction on Gearhart's new water system is going "according to plan, a touch ahead of schedule and on budget."

Voters approved two bond measures totaling $11 million to install a city water system and become independent of Warrenton. Construction began late last year and completion is expected next summer.

Crews are continuing work on the installation of a 750,000-gallon water tank under the city's tennis courts at Pacific Way and Marion Street, Sweet said. In addition, a pipe has been installed under Salminen Road east of U.S. Highway 101, and the road has been graded in preparation for a 1 million gallon water tank, which will act as a reservoir for the summer's water needs.

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