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While preferring that the planned four-year water and sewer rate hikes be cut to two years, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce endorsed the mayor’s proposed increases at a meeting today.

The business organization said it supports Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposals, but only if they include certain safeguards, such as the formation of an Independent Rates Oversight Committee to monitor the expenditure of the new water and sewer bills. Another precaution it wants included is the creation of a “lockbox” to store away savings from efficiencies that would offset future rate hikes.

The City Council is set to vote on the rate proposals on Monday.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association arrived at an endorsement with similar conditions a few weeks ago, said Lani Lutar, the group’s president.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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