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Mesa residents could soon pay higher utility bills

PHOENIX — City leaders in Mesa will hold a public hearing Monday to discuss and vote on raising rates and fees on city-owned utilities.

That includes water, electric, solid waste, natural gas and utility service fees. If approved, the average homeowner would pay close to $9 more per month. According to a city council report, the changes will generate an additional $13,503,000 per year.

The council will also discuss raising admission fees at some museums and increasing or adding charges for certain library services. For example, charging someone $2 per item that they request through the Interlibrary Loan System and fail to pick up and also doubling the fee from 50 cents to $1 for not picking up an item placed on hold within seven days.

The council is also expected to vote on amending the zoning ordinance in response to a recent Arizona Supreme Court case involving tattoo parlors. Currently, tattoo parlors and body piercing salons require a Council Use Permit and include a 1,200-foot separation from schools, churches and other tattoo parlors. If the changes are approved, the 1,200-foot requirement would disappear and tattoo parlors would be able to open in all business-zoned areas across the city.