Marana studies water rate increase for 2010 - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Marana studies water rate increase for 2010

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Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 12:00 am

Marana is analyzing a possible increase in water rates in early 2010, utilities director Dorothy O'Brien told the town council last week.

A notice of intention to increase rates would be presented to the town council Dec. 1, O'Brien said. A public hearing would be held in January. A two-year rate increase plan, with adjustments in February 2010 and February 2011, would be included in the proposal.

Last February, the Marana Town Council voted to increase water rates by 8 percent. The increase, the first in a number of years, took effect in March.

At that time, the council passed an ordinance that said "the revision of the water base fees and consumption rates is necessary for a self-sustaining water utility and is in the best interests of the Town of Marana."

Earlier this year, the council was presented the possibility of an additional 4 percent rate increase in early 2010. It was not adopted, and O'Brien is hesitant to specify a proposed percentage of increase.

"We really haven't completed all the analysis," she said Tuesday.

Marana's water enterprise fund is intended to be fully self-sufficient, with revenues covering operating costs, groundwater replacement expenses, debt service, administration and operating margins. Over the last several months, the utilities department has examined water usage, capital improvements, vehicle replacement costs, system repair and replacement expenses, O'Brien said.

Thus far in the fiscal year, the water enterprise fund is "right on target with what we anticipated receiving to date," she said. Impact fees are "doing well," because Marana has issued 104 permits for single-family residences since the fiscal year began July 1. It had budgeted for 75 such permits in the entire fiscal year.

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