Scottsdale moves forward with intention to increase water rates

Scottsdale City Council adopted a notice of intention to increase water and water reclamation rates and establish May 23 as the day for a public hearing on the matter as part of the council’s March 21 meeting.

Along with these increased rates, the city looks to also increase miscellaneous water charges and make a few small adjustments to Chapter 49 of Scottsdale Revised Code for fiscal year 2017-18.

The city is making the notification as part an Arizona statute that requires customers to receive adequate notice time, the chance to comb over the proposed rate increases and the opportunity to speak at a public hearing, according to a city staff report.

Next, the city plans on posting a written report or data supporting the changes scheduled for April 21, a staff report states.

The proposed modifications to the water and water reclamation rates are expected to increase revenues by approximately 2.9 and 2.6 percent, respectively, according to a staff report.

Scottsdale Water Resources Director Brian Biesemeyer said at a Feb. 21 city council meeting these proposed adjustments could bring $3,564,000 to the city in revenue.

That money would help to offset the rising cost of water from the Central Arizona Project, city officials say.

If approved, most charges will take effect July 1 of this year with water rate charges taking effect Nov. 1 of this year.

For water rates, the city charges a base fee depending on the size of residents’ water meters. On top of that base fee, the city uses a volume-based tier system with commodity fees increasing when more water is used.

The city is proposing an increase in water charges on several tiers of commodity fees with an increase also to base fees. These changes could bring about $2.6 million to the city in revenue.

As for water reclamation rates, the city is proposing an increase to base fees, resulting in an increase of $1 million.

All miscellaneous fees relate to water rates, not water reclamation rates.

Potential areas that could be affected include water meter installation, hydrant meter installation and removal. As a whole, the city expects to increase its revenue under these miscellaneous fees by $178,000.

Changes to the City Code are proposed to include housekeeping updates, such as definitions, titles and clarifications, taking effect July 1, 2017.

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