Tucson Water officials explain rate hikes - Tucson News Now

Tucson Water officials explain rate hikes

  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • UPDATE: Two shot, one dead, at post-wedding party

    UPDATE: Two shot, one dead, at post-wedding party

    Sunday, May 28 2017 3:23 PM EDT2017-05-28 19:23:16 GMT
    Police taped off part of E 32nd Street to investigate a deadly shooting early Sunday morning (Source: TPD).Police taped off part of E 32nd Street to investigate a deadly shooting early Sunday morning (Source: TPD).

    Police responded to several reports of a shooting early Sunday morning in a neighborhood near Park Avenue and East Silverlake Road. Officers found two men shot in the 1100 block of East 32nd Street just after 1:30 a.m. on May 28, according to a release from Tucson Police Department.

    Police responded to several reports of a shooting early Sunday morning in a neighborhood near Park Avenue and East Silverlake Road. Officers found two men shot in the 1100 block of East 32nd Street just after 1:30 a.m. on May 28, according to a release from Tucson Police Department.

  • About Tucson News Now

    About Us

    About Tucson News Now Tucson News Now is the Internet home for KOLD, the CBS affiliate in Tucson and KMSB, the FOX affiliate in Tucson. On Feb. 1, 2012, Raycom Media, Inc., which owns KOLD and the Belo

    Learn more about Tucson News Now.

  • Closed captioning information

    Closed captioning information

    Tuesday, March 22 2016 4:07 PM EDT2016-03-22 20:07:47 GMT
    Tuesday, March 22 2016 4:07 PM EDT2016-03-22 20:07:47 GMT

    FCC rules require broadcast stations to make sure that complaints about closed captioning can be easily made, and addressed in a timely manner. Station point of contact information for immediate concerns

    FCC rules require broadcast stations to make sure that complaints about closed captioning can be easily made, and addressed in a timely manner. Station point of contact information for immediate concerns

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Right on time for summer, Tucson residents can expect to see higher water bills.

The Tucson Water Department was hosting a series of town halls throughout the city to explain the rate hikes to residents, and to answer questions.

The average water consumer in Tucson who uses about 6,700 gallons of water could see their water bill go up by $2.98 cents or $2.85 cents a month.

Water Department officials had both proposals in front of Mayor and Council.  Officials said both would generate the same amount of revenue for the department, which was about $169.5 Million.

"The reason we have this on-going need to increase rates is that our costs go up too," explained Fernando Molina, a spokesman for the Tucson Water Dept.

Molina said the department had seen higher utility bills and energy costs, but the biggest increase they had seen was in the Central Arizona Project or CAP fees, which was the money they paid to access water from the Colorado River.  It was the main source of drinking water in Tucson.

The good news, Molina said Tucson residents were consuming less water than ever before. He compared the usage in 2013 to that in the 1980's, saying the number of residents had increased by 200,000 people since then.

So if we're using less water, why are our bills going up?

"The rates go up because our costs, we still have energy costs, we still have to repay bond debt obligations, we still have to maintain 4,000 miles of mains.  A lot of our costs remain fixed regardless of how much water we sell," said Molina.

"It's infuriating," said Tucson resident Bill McKinnon. "Tucson Electric did the same thing to us, we want to thank you for using less but now we gotta raise your rates," said McKinnon."

Other residents left the town hall meeting with a better understanding.

"It's something we need.  I know there's always maintenance involved wages we have to pay, and infrastructure so I understand," said Tucson resident Edwin Brousseau.

He worried about the cost of filling up his pool this summer.  Last year Brousseau said it cost him $120 to fill it up.

Molina said aging water lines were also a big expense.  They had about $1 Billion in infrastructure that they had to maintain.

Despite the rate increase, Molina said water in Tucson was still a lot cheaper than many other cities in Arizona.

"A gallon of tap water is about half a cent.  That is water that is tested, proven to be safe, and reliable 24 hours a day", said Molina.

The water department will present the proposal to Mayor and Council at a public hearing in June.  If approved the rate hike will go into effect during the first week of July.

To voice your concerns or learn more about these rate hikes you can go to the department's website at www.tucsonaz.gov/water.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Beware of scammers this Memorial Day

    Beware of scammers this Memorial Day

    Monday, May 29 2017 9:16 AM EDT2017-05-29 13:16:25 GMT
    As the sun begins to rise, you can flags at graves. But scammers are also out, targeting your kindness. Beware before you donate (Source: Tucson News Now).As the sun begins to rise, you can flags at graves. But scammers are also out, targeting your kindness. Beware before you donate (Source: Tucson News Now).

    This Memorial Day, many people will be paying tribute who those gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. But not everyone is using this holiday to pay their respects, instead scammers

    This Memorial Day, many people will be paying tribute who those gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. But some scammers are trying to cash in.

  • TUCSON'S TOP 3: What you need to know to start your day

    TUCSON'S TOP 3: What you need to know to start your day

    Monday, May 29 2017 7:58 AM EDT2017-05-29 11:58:01 GMT
    Police taped off part of E 32nd Street to investigate a deadly shooting early Sunday morning (Source: TPD).Police taped off part of E 32nd Street to investigate a deadly shooting early Sunday morning (Source: TPD).

    Good morning! We're getting your day started with top stories you may have missed, plus other headlines you need to be following today.

    Good morning! We're getting your day started with top stories you may have missed, plus other headlines you need to be following today.

  • Arizona softball's season ends after 6-5 loss to Baylor

    Arizona softball's season ends after 6-5 loss to Baylor

    Monday, May 29 2017 1:59 AM EDT2017-05-29 05:59:54 GMT
    Source: KOLDSource: KOLD

    The University of Arizona Softball team lost 6-5 to Baylor on Sunday evening at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium in Tucson. The loss ends the Wildcats' season as they have been knocked out of the 2017 Women's College World Series in the super regional round. 

    The University of Arizona Softball team lost 6-5 to Baylor on Sunday evening at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium in Tucson. 

Powered by Frankly