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Feb. 2, 2017
 
Public invited to meetings to discuss Chandler utility rate changes
 
Chandler Utility Rates & Cost of Service Study reportThe City of Chandler will conduct two informal public meetings in February to present a plan to adjust utility rates and answer questions. Then, a public hearing will be held on May 25 for the Council to review and vote on the proposed rates, for an effective date of Oct. 1, 2017. The first meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13 and the second from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Both meetings will be an Open House format and will be held in the City Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago St.
 
The City of Chandler manages and operates water, wastewater, reclaimed water and solid waste utilities for its customers. This proposal will impact single-family, multi-family, non-residential, landscape, and industrial customer classes for water; and single-family, multi-family, and non-residential for wastewater. Additionally, increases for reclaimed water users and customers using the City’s solid waste services are proposed. Information about the new rates being considered, and their impact on the average customer’s bill in each class, are online at chandleraz.gov/utilityrates.
 
“As you can imagine, no one likes increases in utility rates, but from time to time rate changes are necessary,” said Chandler Management Services Director Dawn Lang. “The new rates will help the City continue to provide critical services to customers safely and efficiently.” Lang added, “Chandler residents and businesses enjoy some of the lowest total utility bill costs in the Valley, and this will continue even if these planned increases are approved.”
 
The City of Chandler is projecting that revenues will need to increase to expand existing Water and Wastewater facilities, maintain existing infrastructure as it ages, pay for ongoing operating costs – such as chemicals and electricity – and to fund debt service costs related to new facilities.
 
This year, the City conducted a Cost of Service study to help determine a costing approach that more accurately reflects the actual cost of providing service to each customer class based on how much they use. Also, the study showed that service demands have changed through the years and some customer classes are paying more than their share of the required costs, and others paying less.
 
“This misalignment between customer classes is not surprising since Chandler has grown considerably and become more automated since our last Cost of Service study 8 years ago,” Lang said. “With this imbalance in mind, the City will be adjusting rates differently for each class so that we can get back into alignment. But, we did not get out of alignment overnight, so we are not going to try to adjust overnight, instead the needed changes will transition gradually over the next 5 years.”
 
To help explain the proposed rate changes in more detail, Chandler has produced a video that is available on the City website – chandleraz.gov/utilityrates – and its YouTube channel – youtube.com/chandlerarizona. Additional materials, including the Cost of Service executive summary also are online at chandleraz.gov/utilityrates.
 
Questions about the proposals can be directed to Budget Office staff members Helen Parker, 480-782-2265 or Greg Westrum, 480-782-2256.