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Buckeye looking to tack $3.05 fee onto city’s water bills

(City of Buckeye Screenshot)

PHOENIX – The West Valley suburb of Buckeye, the fastest growing city in the U.S. by one measure, is looking to add a new monthly fee to its water bills to address its aging infrastructure.

The Buckeye City Council voted during its Nov. 5 meeting to move ahead with a proposed $3.05 flat fee for water resources repair and replacement.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data released in May, Buckeye led the nation in population growth percentage from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, for cities with at least 50,000 residents. It grew to 74,370 residents from 2017 to 2018, an increase of 8.5%.

Buckeye says its water rates haven’t changed since 2015. Earlier this year, the city decided against a rate increase.

A city report says the fee is needed as part of a capital improvement plan by the Water Resources Department for about $200 million in projects through 2024.

Two public meetings about the proposed fee have been scheduled. The first is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Western Maricopa Education Center (500 N. Verrado Way).

The second will be held with the mayor and City Council at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 at City Hall (530 E. Monroe Ave.).

Residents can also submit comments on the city’s website.

If it gains final approval, the fee will go into effect in February 2020. It’s expected to bring in $903,000 during its first full fiscal year.

Buckeye serves approximately 24,000 water customers.

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