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Buckeye Cancels Plan To Raise Residential Water Rates

Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 10:22am
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 2:44pm
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(Photo by Matthew Casey - KJZZ)
The Buckeye City Council heard from staff, experts and residents before recently voting to cancel a plan to increase residential water rates in 2017.

The Buckeye City Council has nixed a plan to increase residential water rates next year, and officials say an overall restructuring of rates could lead to a drop in some people’s water bills.

The decision comes days after a group launched efforts to recall the mayor.

Buckeye is the largest water service territory in Arizona. The city is also entirely dependent on groundwater, which can require expensive treatment.

Those are a few reason why leaders could not have avoided rate hikes in the past, and they cannot avoid them in the future, said Dan Jackson, vice president of Willdan Financial Services.   

“You have a once in a generation chance to restructure the rates now,” said Jackson, who has studied Buckeye’s water system for years. “Not only to benefit the community in general. But also to ensure that the most people believe the rate structure is fair.”

Some residents believe Buckeye’s water rates are unfair and unreasonable. Despite city efforts to work with people whose water bills have spiked, a group recently started a petition to recall the mayor.

Their anger reflects government at its worst, said Mike Melton, a longtime Buckeye resident. “From the standpoint that it takes time to get things done, and we’re a very impatient society."

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