Communities throughout Arizona, big and small, are all beginning to face significant infrastructure problems with aging water and sewer systems. It is increasingly problematic for communities where fees and service charges did not increase over the years to accommodate the needed repairs.
For the Town of Kearny to continue to receive grants and loans to help with these necessary upgrades and repairs, the town had to increase its fees. These rates must meet the average level in order to receive funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority.
At its January meeting, the Kearny Town Council voted to increase the monthly wanter bill by $2.50 per month. The rate increase will be effective March 1, 2016. Prior to the vote the council was required to first announce an intent to raise the water rates and properly notice a public hearing. The public hearing was held in conjunction with the January town council meeting.
The Kearny water system consists of four wells, two 750,000 gallon storage tanks, a hydropneumatic pressure tank, chlorine gas disinfection, a distributions system, 837 customer accounts and a water treatment plant. The system is over 50 years old and is need of significant repairs. The town has been using the general fund monies to help fund some of the repairs however the water system is an enterprise fund which means that the revenues received should cover the cost to operate and maintain the system.