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Poway Might Reimburse Residents, Businesses For Week Of Water Restrictions

Sign at Lake Poway reading

Photo by Mike Damron

Above: Sign at Lake Poway reading "Water resumes 7 a.m." Dec. 2, 2019.

The Poway City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to issue rebates on water bills to compensate residents and business for losses stemming from the contamination crisis late last year.

In late November, stormwater contaminated the city's water supply and people were told not to drink water for nearly a week. Now the city is looking to reimburse residents and businesses for the interruption.

The city council will consider giving customers a one time credit that on average would be $28, depending on water usage.

"My initial reaction was that’s a very small credit," said Poway resident Michelle Meeks. "Considering six days having to boil water every single day ... that’s every time you cook, you clean ... you take a bath, you brush your teeth. You’re extremely inconvenienced."

RELATED: State: Poway ‘Failed To Protect’ Water System From Contamination

Other Poway residents were glad to see the city stepping up.

"I guess that’s nice," Kathy Geary said. "I think it’s a lot of money that the city has to pay but some people could probably use it."

Joseph Scott called the rebate "a drop in the bucket, but it is an effort that shows the city is looking to help people."

While officials were telling residents not to drink the water, nearly 200 stores and restaurants were forced to close for nearly a week.

"I felt more sorry for the restaurants because that’s their livelihood and all the restaurant were closed in Poway," Geary said.

It is likely that restaurants use more water than the average home, meaning their water credit would likely be higher — but some say it will not be enough to cover losses.

"For a business like me I would imagine it’s in the $100 range for our water usage — our losses are $25,000 so it’s insignificant in the scheme of things," Players Sports Grill owner Michael Pasulka said.

Pasulka paid his employees while his restaurant was closed during the water crisis. "The community has been great they’ve come in and continually ask whether we’re recovering from it," he said.

Pasulka paid his employees while his restaurant was closed and plans to file a claim with the city for lost income.

Tuesday's City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

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Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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