Phoenix council says it won't lower new water rates for now

A majority of Phoenix City Council members want to keep new water rates as they are for now despite citizens upset at higher bills, the council members said at a workshop Monday.

In a poll of council members, all but Stan Bartell said they would either support continuing with the higher rates indefinitely or wanted to gather more information before considering reverting to old rates. Council member Herman Blum was not at the meeting.

Several dozen residents attended Monday’s workshop after August water bills arrived and customers owed some 27 percent — and in some cases, 50 percent — higher than usual in summer.

After residents reported bills $40 to $70 higher than usual, Bartell called for rescinding the new rates.

Council member Mike Stitt said he sympathized with residents on tight incomes but said he believed the new rates would prove beneficial to residents who conserve.

Mayor Carlos DeBritto said the council will put the issue on its next meeting agenda.

“I guess the only thing we can say for sure is (the council) decided to maintain the rates as they are right now but to take another good look a the whole scenario,” he said.

Under the old system, residents paid $31.40 for the first 700 cubic square feet of water (5,236 gallons) and $1.40 per 1,000 cubic square feet (7,480 gallons) beyond the base charge.

Under the new system, residents pay $28 for the first 2,000 gallons, $1.75 (per 1,000 gallons) for the next 8,000 gallons and $3.75 (per 1,000 gallons) beyond 10,000 gallons.

— Buffy Pollock, for the Mail Tribune

Share This Story