Tucson Water rate hike proposed to council

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson City Council heard from Tucson Water Wednesday about its need to hike rates in the near future.

Tucson Water kicked off the process of hiking rates, presenting its financial situation to council.

Water consumption is down meaning Tucson Water is bringing in less money.

"This is just our continuous needs to maintain our system," said Interim Water Director Andrew Quigley.

According to Tucson Water, the bottom line is if Tucson wants the same level of service, people are going to have to pay more.

Exactly how much more is not yet known.

"The rate increase are less than what we projected last year," said Quigley.

It may be less than what has been projected, but city council members still want to make sure the rate is fair.

"We've raised water rates.  We've raised trash fees.  We talked about raising taxes last year and the voters said, 'No, we're not ready for it,'" said Kozachik.

Whether they're ready or not, councilman Steve Kozachik says they can't avoid it.

"There will be some increase more than likely because we do have a need to update the system," said Kozachik.  "My hope is we can find a way to mitigate those proposed increases."

The public will get a chance to speak out on the proposed rate hike at a public hearing on April 12.

Any changes won't become effective until July 5.