Metro Water considering rate increase

Published: Sep. 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:54 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Metro Water board members will meet next month to consider possible rate adjustments.

The proposed adjustments would work out to a 4 percent increase in revenue.  Board members are taking this step to keep the water district financially sound and pay for improvements in the system, according to Assistant General Manager Warren Tenney.  

The proposed adjustments would raise the Water Availability Rate -- a base rate for customers -- by $2 per customer for most residential customers.  Commercial customers would see a higher increase.  Also, the Water Resources Utilization Fee -- which funds projects to use the district's Central Arizona Project water and effluent -- would increase by 10 cents per 1,000 gallons for a rate of 20 cents per 1,000 gallons.

Metro Water has spent more than $50 million on projects to improve water delivery and replace aging pipes and mains, Tenney said, which is adding to the district's debt load.  The district is also dealing with higher CAP charges, higher costs for electricity, and higher health insurance costs for employees.

Tenney says because Metro Water has been proactive about improvements, it's not facing the same issues as many other water districts:  aging infrastructure and the need to replace it.

The board will consider the rate adjustments during a meeting at 6pm on October 28, at their offices located at 6265 N. La Cañada Drive in Tucson.  The meeting is open to the public.

Metro Water serves parts of Pima County on the northwest, east, and southwest sides of Tucson.

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