The last time the city raised rates was in 2001 after the state’s energy crisis. Utility bills jumped 10 percent, officials said. The seven-member advisory BWP board got a glimpse of the proposed rate hikes as the BWP presented an overview of its budget for the next year. Board members will continue to study the proposed rate hikes at their next meeting May 4. If they vote to recommend the increases, the issue will go before the City Council for consideration. The council is expected to take up the issue next month. If approved by the council, new rates could go into effect as early as July 1, officials said. “I don’t have enough information on this yet,” Burbank Councilman David Gordon said Friday. “I’d like to see what’s being proposed and see what is the cause of the requested increase before I comment.” Ruth Beekman, 90, said any rate hikes would pinch her already tight budget. Beekman, whose husband died 15 years ago, said she lives on $1,300 a month. “It will make a little difference,” said the retired schoolteacher, who has no mortgage payment on her nearly 2,000-square-foot home with a pool. Any raise now makes a difference, but I think I will be able to do it.” email@example.com (818) 546-3306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – The board of Burbank Water and Power is considering raising utility rates to help offset the rising costs of natural gas and water, officials said. The plan, introduced during a board meeting Thursday night, recommends rate increases of 3.5 percent for power and 4.8 percent for water. That could push the average resident’s monthly bill up between $2 and $4. Currently, residents pay an average $63 a month for electricity and $36 a month for water, officials said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventBWP officials say the hikes are needed as the cost of natural gas is projected to rise to $82.8 million in fiscal 2006-07, up from $61.7 million last fiscal year. Water costs are expected to hit $9.4 million this fiscal year, up from $8.7 million last fiscal year, officials said. “Unfortunately, we have to raise rates,” said Joanne Fletcher, BWP’s assistant general manager for customer service and marketing. “It’s not our preference, but we have to.” Natural gas is used to fuel city-owned power plants and those of out-of-state energy suppliers, Fletcher said. The municipal utility, which has an annual budget of $300 million, provides power and water for 45,000 households and 6,000 businesses in the city.