Phoenix City Council Votes To Increase Water Rates

Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 10:06pm
Updated: Friday, January 8, 2016 - 10:45am
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
The meeting in Phoenix City Council chambers on Jan. 6, 2016.

By a 5-4 vote, the Phoenix City Council approved higher rates on Wednesday. But the approval didn’t come without criticism.  

“This is the exact same thing we heard in 2010," said District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio. "It was all a scam."

Water Services Department Director Katherine Sorensen told council members higher rates are needed to maintain water and sewer pipes and lines.

“The cost of labor, electricity, chemicals, everything — it's all increasing," she said.

During a public hearing, resident Greta Rogers told council members, "This is a must-do, a must pass."

She found support with District 8 Councilwoman Kate Gallego who cited past problems from water leaks and burst pipes.

"I hate the phone calls when people are saying, ‘Seventh Avenue is shut down. You idiot, what are you going to do about it?' Well, this is what we’re going to do," said Gallego.

But, they’ll do it without District 2 Councilman Jim Waring’s blessing.

"My confidence in some of the things we hear at these meetings has been shaken to say the least," he said before voting against the increases.

Staff says the average residential customer will pay an extra $1.59 a month, which will add up to nearly $30 million over the next two years.

 

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