Water, EMS rates rising 2013.05.08

Written by David Green.

Water rates and the EMS ambulance assessment are both expected to increase for Morenci residents starting in July.

Water costs have remained steady since 2005, said Morenci mayor Keith Pennington, and reserves in the fund have shrunk.

The new proposal is to increase the rate from $1.76 per thousand gallons to $2.40. The increase will not affect a resident’s entire sewer and water bill, Pennington pointed out, but only the portion of the bill for water usage. Looking at his own bill, he anticipates an increase of about $10 each quarter.

The city is looking at maintenance needs at the water tower between Chestnut and East Coomer streets with an estimated cost of $115,000.

In addition, the fire department has requested a loop to be formed on the west end of the city for better fire protection.

Some water lines are targeted for replacement which is holding up repaving efforts, such as on Locust Street.

Water funds were used during the parking lot project when new lines were laid before paving.

If rates are increased now, Pennington said, some of those projects could get underway soon.

EMS—The proposed city budget shows a 10 percent increase in the assessment for the Morenci Area EMS. 

Revenue continues to decrease from insurance reimbursement, Pennington said, and federal rates are being pushed down.

The ordinance that established the EMS service allows city council to increase rates by a maximum of 10 percent annually.

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