/ Modified apr 14, 2016 5:05 a.m.

Tucson Water, Recycling Rate Increases Proposed

Public meetings scheduled this month; water rate increase could be $2.60 monthly.

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The Tucson City Council is considering raising water and recycling rates in July, and it wants public feedback on the proposals.

Tucson Water has two rate increase proposals, one would raise the average residential customer bill by $2.50 a month, the alternative would raise it $2.69 a month, starting in July.

The department said it needs to raise rates to keep up with aging infrastructure. It is replacing old pipes throughout the city. The maintenance budget is growing, said Timothy Thomure, the water department director.

“So even if there’s no increased water demand, we have an increasing need in our maintenance and replacement programs. We’re also always reinvesting in making our water supply as resilient as it can be, and that’s a long-term investment that we need to make," Thomure said.

As people conserve water, the department must find ways to pay for the rising maintenance budget.

“We’re using about the same water today, total as a community, as we did 10-15 years ago. That means we have to do some fundamental rethinking of how we price water and how we shape our rates," he said.

The city environmental services department is proposing a surcharge for recycling customers. Information on both departments' proposals is available at four public meetings this month.

April 20, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Tucson Parks & Recreation Building, Mesquite Room
900 S. Randolph Way

April 25, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
El Pueblo Activity Center
101 W. Irvington Rd.

April 26, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Quincie Douglas Public Library, Meeting Room
1585 E. 36th St.

April 28, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Tucson Water Eastside Service Center
10445 E. Golf Links Rd.

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