Tucson Water service boundary up for public input

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson Water is seeking public input on a number of policies that include Wastewater Management and water service boundaries.

Thursday was the first of two public forums.

The City of Tucson has signs that say entering or leaving the city.  But Tucson Water's service boundary stretches outside the city limits.

"So, on the map, Tucson Water services the dark blue area today.  The light blue area is where we will be obligated to serve in the future," said Assistant to the City Manager Nicole Ewing-Gavin.

The future is what some of the residents at Thursday's meeting are concerned about.

A policy was put in place in 2007 by the mayor and city council with the current hard boundaries.

"I'm concerned that there's an effort being made to undermine them and change them before they've even had a chance to work," said Tucson resident Paul Mackey.

Paul Mackey was one of a dozen people who made comments to the representatives from Tucson Water.

He and a few others are concerned about an expansion of service southwest of town that could be costly.

"Just because there are developers in the southwest who would like the idea of city providing water there, it doesn't mean we should make whole sale changes to policy  just to accommodate their own interest," said Mackey.

Tucson Water is looking at several options for the area.  They include grandfathering in developers who had an agreement before the policy was in place or teaming up with metro water to provide service.

"Probably the biggest reason for the policy to have that boundary is so that we know we can serve the water to this area in the future.  And any expansions we do we really have to be cognizant of the current obligations we have," said Nicole Ewing-Gavin.

All the comments from Thursday's meeting will be given to the citizens water advisory committee, who will present recommendations to mayor and council in November.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:30 at Reid Park.

More on the Tucson Water public meetings.