City of Somerton discusses raising utility rates for the first time in 7 years

The city of Somerton is looking into the possibility of raising the rates it charges for water, sewer service, and trash collection. The city says it would ensure that clean, safe water will be provided for all residents.

City leaders tell New's 11 the finance department is in the process of doing an analysis on expenditures versus the revenues on the utility bills and based on that city staff will propose an increase.

Somerton residents are currently charged $11.50 for the first 5,000 gallons of water used, $36.50 monthly for sewer service and $16.33 a month for trash services according to ENC Environmental Finance Center. Somerton leaders say the costs associated with providing the services for the community are continuing to soar such as labor and sanitation. The economic developer for the city say's the last rate study was done nearly seven years ago.

“That’s the main concern by the city council members and the mayor … that the … not to increase the rate very high for the citizens of somerton but based on the discussions made it may not be a bit high very small percentage only a few dollars but when you combine the all the accounts the utility accounts it could be enough a few dollars could be enough to continue improving the services you know the water department provides and sewer department provides for the city the key is the quality of water", says Hector Tapia City of Somerton Economic Development Director. 

Tapia says as the city continues to grow the demand for these services are increasing. He says the study could also find that the city has other options beside a rate increase. The study will be completed within the next two to three months. 

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