Water rate fight looming in Saddlebrook

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Residents in the Eagle Crest neighborhood of Saddlebrook have seen their water rates increase in the past. But they're fed up and voicing their opposition to another huge increase in water rates.

The Goodman Water Company supplies water to parts of the Saddlebrook area. They serve more then seven hundred customers. Last fall GWC submitted an application to the Arizona Corporation Commission to raise their fees.

"And its 50% higher than then the other areas around us, which is ridiculous, and we're going to fight," said Saddlebrook resident Richard Esparza.

Richard Esparza and others gathered to tell the corporation commission the hike is not right.

"This, to me, is nothing more than a Wall Street bailout, and it absolutely can not happen anymore. As elected officials you have to put a stop to this stupidity on this company,"

Many of the people who spoke said their average water bill was between $50 and $70.  If an increase is approved, it could bring the bills to more than a $100.

"They don't pay for water.  Water is free.  We're only paying for it to come to our homes, and it shouldn't cost $150 for us to get it to our homes," said Saddlebrook resident Pat Doherty.

The residents of the community were looking to get the attention of the commission and it seems to have worked.

"This is one that we all will scrutinize extraordinarily. It was good to have everyone here and hear what they had to say, because it has impact on commissioners.  I think that's what they wanted to do today and they certainly did," said Gary Pierce from the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Wednesday, the job of the corporation commission was simply to listen to the public. If they wish, they can reject the application to raise water rates.

There will first be a hearing in Tucson on the case June 14, and a decision will come sometime after that.