A public hearing will be held in Marana, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, regarding the proposed wastewater and water rate increases. The town council will hear from the public as they continue to the process to approve proposed rate increases for the current fiscal year.
Economists.com conducted a rate analysis on Marana’s wastewater and water rates, components, fees and service charges to make sure that the Town of Marana Utilities Department will have a sufficient amount of funds for the coming years. Preliminary findings were presented to the mayor and council on Dec. 17.
Water rates were last changed in February 2011. On average, residents use about 6,200 gallons of water per month. The current monthly rate is $29.42 per 5,000 gallons. The proposed plan would increase residential water rates by $2.07 per month. For commercial businesses, the proposed monthly increase would be an average of $15.35 per month. The current monthly rate is $217.94 per 50,000 gallons.
John Kmiec, the Marana utilities director, said it is not uncommon for utility rates to increase.
“The increase is needed on both sides (water and wastewater),” said Kmiec. “Inflation is what drives up rates. Being a government utility we have to make sure our income matches our expenditures. We need
to match what we are spending.”
Wastewater rates are also projected to increase. The rates were last changed in July 2012. Currently, residents and commercial businesses use an average of 2,200 gallons of wastewater per month. The current monthly rate is $33.26 per 5,000 gallons. The proposed plan would increase the wastewater rates by $2.92.
The proposed plan also includes water and wastewater increases for the next three years through 2017. Each year the utility rate will expect to increase between 5 to 7 percent.
If the proposed plan is approved, rate increases will go into affect on April 1 and rates for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 will be adjusted.
Marana owns the Marana Wastewater Reclamation Facility, which it took ownership of in January 2012 from Pima County. The facility, located at 14393 N. Luckett Road, treats and discharges about 250,000 gallons of sewage per day into the Santa Cruz River.