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Foothills Utilities holds virtual meeting on rate hikes

Residents in the Fortuna Foothills had a chance to ask questions about proposed water and wastewater rate hikes Wednesday evening.

Foothills Utilities held an online meeting. It was previously scheduled to be held in person on the Arizona Western College campus.

However, utilities officials made the change after what they call a "security threat".

In a note on their website that was also sent to customers, it says "We will temporarily be unable to process customer transactions in person at 13157 E. 44th Street. On 12/19/23 we experienced a security event that is now resolved."

The note goes on to say that the Yuma County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Customers were advised to pay their bills online.

The online meeting was led by Ed Fortner, general manager for Foothills Utilities and Gabe Martinez, the water and wastewater system manager.

Foothills Utilities has filed a request with the Arizona Corporation Commission for an 18 percent increase for water and 51 percent for wastewater.

Officials say the rate hikes are necessary to maintain service levels in the Fortuna Foothills area.

Customers expressed their disagreement with the rate hikes, continuing to point to what they say is poor customer service as well as a strong sewer smell and poor response time from Foothills Utilities officials.