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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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9/27/2009 11:00:00 PM
Prescott Valley water, sewer rates increasing

Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Residents north of Highway 89A can expect their water usage rates to increase 10 percent and residents throughout the town will see their sewer bills go up 3 percent beginning in November.

The Town Council on Thursday voted unanimously to increase usage rates for water and sewer customers to offset greater electricity and other costs. The base monthly rates of $9 a month for water for homes and $5.07 for sewer service - both for residences with three-quarter-inch meters, the most common size - will not change.

The greater water bills will apply to an estimated 2,000 customer accounts for homes and businesses within the boundaries of the former Prescott Valley municipal water system. The town has about 16,000 customer accounts that serve the former Prescott Valley Water District, which covers the remainder of the community and nearby unincorporated areas.

The town merged both water systems July 1, 2008, and eventually will equalize their rates. Developers of the Viewpoint subdivision north of Highway 89A created the municipal system in 1996, and the town established the water district after buying the former Shamrock Water Co. in 1999.

The new water rates would see bills increase from $2.52 to $2.77 for the first block of 1,000 gallons per month, from $3.03 to $3.32 for the second block and from $3.93 to $4.32 for the third block of 1,000 gallons.

Sewer bills town-wide will increase by a dime a month to $3.79, also based on using 1,000 gallons of water. The council previously increased water and sewer rates this past October.

The pricing structure encourages conservation, Management Services Director Bill Kauppi told the council. He added a majority of residential customers use less than 8,000 gallons of water a month.

Kauppi and Customer Accounts Manager Cordell Compton recommended the new rates after doing an annual study.

The study included a chart that compared water bills in Prescott Valley with nearby and other jurisdictions.

The monthly bills showed customers within the former boundaries of the municipal system pay an average of $35.22 and customers in the former boundaries of the district pay $40.40.

That compares with monthly bills of $46.22 in Chino Valley, $45.28 in Prescott, $43.10 in Cottonwood and $59.50 in Clarkdale.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Article comment by: PV more like PU

Huzzah! Wendell you are right on the mark...

Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Article comment by: Wendell

The town could shut off the fountain/ pond that runs all the time by the circle where they want to put up a Fuddruckers. The Town could tear up all grass in Viewpoint Park, and any and all parks and golf courses and put down artificial turf and save millions of gallons. "No name" : I bought a resale house some years ago when it was in a separate water system and the town changed the rules last year . When I bought I didn't realize I was being drive through and shown the best part of P.V. and not the less attractive parts, I have learned an important lesson, rent for a while before buying in any new location you may move to. I may have mis interperted your point, I do oppose large scale wall to wall development. Small scale development with required green space and having the necessary water is a must . And I don't mean obtaining water by damaging the Verde River to do so for big land owners. I don't understand why it would cost more to get water to us, the pipes are in, the wells are in. I see it as a steal by the town and in that we totally agree, this bunch of foolish politicians must go. They are a well used bunch and I wonder if they cannot see what uncontrolled development does or they obtain some reward, either tangible or mental. I avoid patronizing the town except for a few upstanding merchants. I avoid the town because of Radar traps. I avoid the town because of the horrid rusty library they have inflicted on this town. But most of all I avoid the town because of the incentives, grants and steals they allow their confederates in big business.

Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Let's talk accountability. What do those PV employees on the ATVs do? They drive up and down the easements having a great 4-wheel experience. But the NEVER cut the weeds or trees out of the easements. What are the three guys in three PV trucks doing over at Mountain View Park, can we get a Courier photographer to photo them? Is the town enforcing ordinances like refrigerators and cars on front lawns or did the council write that one yet? In Pub Works Director Norm Davis' infinite wisdom, he cancelled the south side development of Highway 69. So, all that highway work - now - will have to be redone at a higher price in the future.

Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Wendell, I never said we wanted more developments. I said we are glad you live here but we don't care where you shop or live for that matter. We are sure we can prove PV officials have lied and abused the spending of funds. We will do it if necessary. The rest of you stop crying because you pay more then some you chose to live there. It's just like taxes you pay your share.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: Wendell

to No Name: Was it the town or was it the Pronghorn, Viewpoint developers that put in the infrastructure and had a seperate water supply? The town as I understand over paid millions of dollar more than its true value for the Shamock water co ( Fain owned) and then spent millions more fixing the problems with it! You want taxes and development you have to treat people fair otherwise they feel dumped on and tootled on down to Prescott to do their business boycotting the cartel in P.V. Maybe when they clean up P.V. I'll see if I'll want to shop there...and they need to clean up the Chamber too.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: Tom Atkins

These rates are way too low! The water level in the city's production wells in PV are going down rapidly. A fact that PV never talks about. The rates for the first 1400-1500 gallons per month (for a home of two) should be relatively inexpensive. After that amount the water used is considered mined... not replaced and should be taxed at a very very high level 30-40 $USD / 1000 Gal. That is the only way we will start conserving water and reach Safe Yield. The water from the city should only be used for indoor use drinking, showering, washing etc. It should then be returned to the treatment plant for A++ treatment and pumped forcefully back into the aquifer. Watering outside of the home should be accomplished by collecting rain water from each roof, storing the rain water in a large container and pumping it through a drip irrigation system to xeriscaped (local drought-tolerant plants). The Prescott AMA population has outstripped its water supply many years ago. To be sustainable the goal is to use less than 35 gallons per person per day... 35 GPCD! Are you part of the solution or the problem. Check your water bill today and see what your water consumption is compared to the sustainable level of 35 GPCD!

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: legal action? gimme a break!

To "no name provided" you shouldn't make this an "us vs. the rest of the town argument." Do you realize the town would use your own water rates to defend legal action? And after the court battle, they'll raise the rates again to pay for the lawsuit costs. In essence, you'd be funding both sides and you'd stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever winning! Show us a court case in Arizona where residents took legal action against higher municipal rates and prevailed, it doesn't exist!

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

To Unify the rates now! I can understand why you would want your rates the same as others but you should know it cost the town more to get water to your development. We are always told growth pays for growth. You want to live out there you pay your share of the costs. Once these rates are unified there is a new group ready to take legal action over the lies we been fed. That is against the town and the homeowners that will benefit at the expense of others. It isn't that we don't want you here because we do. It is because we were told this would not happen.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: Petty Little Political Lapdogs

Another reason justifying the boycott of Prescott Valley, a petty town run by a few land owner developer hand picked lapdog fascists. I sure hope the folks North of 89a have a good memory come election time. They unfified the 2 water districts so they could set the price and sure enough went for the N of 89a folks.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: Tom Steele

There could be savings in water and sewer rates by reading the meters every other month and using an average created for the non read month. As a monopoly, there is perhaps less pressure to restrict costs. That's where an "alert" town staff and town council could help. Rather than praising all vendors and staff; they could ask for more critical thinking into cost effective solutions. Maybe I am asking too much from this bunch.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: Unify the rates now!

Having two different rates based on where you live in the same city is dumb! It shouldn't matter whether you live in StoneRidge, PV proper, or Viewpoint. They're doing the right thing by unifying the rates. It's probably an accounting nightmare and waste of money trying to keep up with two rate structures.

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

What difference does it make to PV residents what Chino Valley, Prescott, or any other city pays for water and sewer. It is a lousy scam, to try and justify raising the rates. These rates should be based on direct cost, and the town should not be raising the rates because other places have higher rates. The management in this town needs to go.

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