New water rates approved - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

New water rates approved

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Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:00 pm

The Arizona Corporation Commission approved new rates Monday for six of Arizona American Water’s service districts, including Sun City and Sun City West.

Water rates will increase 5 cents a day for Sun Citians. Wastewater bills will increase 14 cents a day for Sun Citians and 19 cents per day for Sun City West residents.

The new rates will go into effect Jan. 1.

The ACC approved the increase to fund infrastructure improvements that have been made in the company’s two water and four wastewater systems and to offset increases in infrastructure, operational and maintenance costs based on 2008 adjusted information.

The first-year revenue increase is approximately $13.1 million, but increases due to a phase-in in the second and third years. The total ongoing revenue increase for all districts approved is approximately $14.7 million.

Despite the rate increases, the ACC’s announcement represented a victory for Sun Cities residents, who helped defeat a proposal earlier this month that would have led to a statewide consolidation of Arizona American Water’s seven districts.

If the consolidation had been approved, instead of charging different rates in each community, residents would have paid the same rate for the same amount of usage. Since Sun Citians pay a lower rate than other districts, the consolidation would have resulted in substantially higher rate increases than the ones approved on Monday.

Arizona American Water’s customers will be notified with a bill insert about the adjusted rates in their next regular billing. Customers in Sun City on fixed incomes or facing financial difficulties may qualify for a low-income rate program.

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