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New residential water, sewer and solid waste rates go into effect in January

Post Date:12/06/2017 4:07 PM

Beginning Jan. 1, Tempe residents will see a change in their monthly utility bills for water, sewer and solid waste services. The maximum increase per month a single family residential customer — with the same amount of usage— would experience with the new rates is $3.88.

The new rates were approved for the 2018 calendar year by the City Council after a Nov. 30 public hearing and months of informational outreach and input from residents. To further address the needs of large lot owners, Council requested that staff come back to the April 19 Council Work Study Session with recommendations on working with residents who are on septic systems and large lots.

The Nov. 30 Council meeting materials are available at http://bit.ly/2AZpOXV (Agenda items 5C5, 5C6, 6A1, 6A2). The meeting video is available at http://bit.ly/2jhHJid.

These 2018 rate adjustments will help ensure the reliability and affordability of basic water, sewer and solid waste services. The 2017 utility rate study featured extensive outreach efforts, including focus groups, four public meetings and two City Council Work Study Sessions. Public comment was also available on the city’s utility rate study webpage.

The 2018 rate structure adds an additional tier with volumes from 20,000-40,000 gallons per month. This tier was created to recognize outdoor water use on larger lots and is priced at a rate that is lower than the highest tier. Another change in the 2018 rates is in the calculation of the sewer flow. Sewer charges are based on the three-month winter average water use and applying 70 percent to that number. In 2018, the calculation for sewer flow will be capped at 12,000 gallons. Sewer caps do not apply to those on septic systems.

Council also approved a new solid waste service  “SMART” Save Money and Recycle Tempe.  This program allows residents with curbside service, if they choose, to select a smaller trash container at a lower cost, thereby lowering their monthly bill.  This service will begin implementation on  July 1, 2018

Water, sewer and solid waste services are an enterprise fund and are fully funded by ratepayers. Since city sales and property taxes do not fund water, sewer or solid waste services, those costs must be recovered through residents’ monthly fees. The 2018 rate adjustments are based on a detailed cost of service analysis to ensure that each utility customer class pays its proportionate share of the cost to provide those services.

Residents with questions about the rate adjustments and water volume tier structure can contact Customer Service at 480-350-8361, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.tempe.gov/utilityrates.

Media contact: Shannon Reed, 480-350-8101, shannon_reed@tempe.gov

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