Supervisors have tabled a request by the California Water Service Company to raise rates up to 19 percent, believing the utility should bear the cost of maintaining their own lines.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Mike Maggard indicated it’s not fair to ask residents of Bakersfield and the Kern River Valley to pay for any upgrades. The utility says the hike is necessary because people failed to use water more efficiently.

Supervisors indicated the county may look at other options for water providers if a compromise cannot be reached.

If approved, the rate hike would start in 2017 and take place over three years.

Kelli Forsch