WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 29, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Chandler City Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, July 9, 2015, to receive comments regarding proposed increases in wastewater, reclaimed water, and solid waste rates, plus a modification to the rate schedule. The hearing will be held during a regular meeting of the Council, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago Street.
The City’s current utility rates were reviewed as part of the recently completed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-16 Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process. The review of the Water, Wastewater, and Solid Waste Enterprise Funds, as well as Reclaimed Water operations, concluded that some rates would need to be raised to cover additional expenses associated with cash reserve policy requirements, operating costs, infrastructure upgrades and debt service coverage.
To maintain the financial integrity of these Enterprise Funds, the City Council is considering rate increases of nine percent for Wastewater, 18 percent for Reclaimed Water, and six percent for Solid Waste services. No rate increase is proposed at this time for the Water Enterprise. A change in the Water rate structure is being proposed, switching from seasonal winter/summer rates to a consistent year-round rate structure, which is cost-neutral.
If approved by the City Council, the change to year-round rate structure and the rate increases would go into effect on October 1, 2015. Even with these changes, Chandler would maintain some of the lowest cost of service rates (utility charges, staffing levels) in the Valley
The documents detailing the proposed increases are available at City Hall, 175 S. Arizona Avenue, in the office of the City Clerk and online at www.chandleraz.gov. For more information, call the City’s Budget Office at 480-782-2252.
Additionally, as part of the rate review, a Cost of Service study was conducted to determine if each customer class (i.e. Single Family Residential, Multi-Family, Non-Residential, etc.) is paying into the Water and Wastewater systems appropriately, based on each customer’s demand on the overall system. It was determined that there are some customer classes that are overpaying and some that are underpaying. Additional changes will be required in order to realign each customer class rates so they generate revenue to fund the demand they place on the systems.
This adjustment to the rates related to the realignment of customer classes was discussed by the Mayor and Council during a Micro Retreat on May 11, 2015. It was determined that no changes will go into effect in the upcoming fiscal year. Instead, the adjustments would wait until the 2017-18 Fiscal year, giving City staff time to meet with impacted stakeholders to ensure there is understanding for the needed cost of service realignment and its financial impacts to their utility bills
* The 6% rate increase is needed to keep pace with annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases that are part of the existing Solid Waste contract. This would be the first Solid Waste rate increase since 2005.