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Somerton Council Votes To Raise Water and Wastewater Rates

City of Somerton

UPDATE JUNE 5: Saying they had no choice but to meet their operations budget, Somerton city councilmembers voted Tuesday night to increase water and wastewater rates for residents.

The council voted 6-1 to follow the recommendation of Finance Director Czarina Gallegos to increase the rates starting in 30 days.

City Manager Ian McGaughey told KAWC the city had not increased rates since 2010. Gallegos said the fees currently collected do not cover the cost of operations at the current service level.

The additional cost to a resident using an average of 13,000 gallons of water a month will be $5.88 not including tax. The cost to a resident for wastewater will be $6.97.

Officials say this rate structure will potentially yield at least $595,000 each for water and wastewater.


The Somerton City Council will consider raising water and wastewater rates at a meeting tonight.

City leaders hired Willdan Financial Services to prepare a rate study. Currently, homeowners in Somerton pay about $60 for water and wastewater, which is less than homeowners in Yuma and San Luis.

City Manager Ian McGaughey told KAWC the current revenue is not enough to pay for operations. City councilmembers will consider a rate increase of about six percent in the first year or an increase of $2.88 with similar increases for each of the following four years.  The earliest this change could go into effect is July 5, McGaughey said.

“The city has not increased its water or wastewater rates in 10 years and during that same period most of the utilities in Arizona have increased their rates by 50 to 60 percent,” he said.

The Somerton City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Somerton City Hall on Main Street. A work session on other city matters begins at 6 p.m.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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