Yes, the Town assesses Water and Wastewater Capacity Fees to new homes and businesses that cover the cost of capital improvements needed to service their demand.
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The Town is proposing to increase rates to sufficiently cover costs associated with providing water and wastewater service to our residents. We have not raised rates since 2017, however, the Town’s operations contract has increased by 24% over that time due to increases in electricity, fuel, personnel costs, and inflation. The rates need to be adjusted to sufficiently fund the water/wastewater system.
The Town plans to fund $54 million in improvements in water/wastewater infrastructure over the next five years. This money will pay for well improvements, PFAS mitigation, water storage tanks, improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, and general water and sewer improvements.
Prescott Valley’s current and proposed water rates are significantly lower than neighboring cities and lower than many other Arizona municipalities.
This increase is for both water and wastewater and is dependent on how much water a residential household uses, and the increase will be spread across five years.
No. There is no difference in residential or commercial rates based on your location. While the rates are the same bills can differ between customers due to the amount of water used and the size of the water meter.
Prescott Valley operates on a radio read meter system, so you will not see a meter reader. These radio meter systems allow customers to monitor their water use in near-real-time - the Town’s WaterSmart Portal shows hourly water usage up through the previous day, so customers can assess their use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, and can report average per-day use changes over time. These functions can help customers to tailor their water usage to their own specific needs.
The secondary importance of this system is to immediately detect leaks that might increase a resident’s bill and to assure water conservation.
The average Prescott Valley residential customer uses 5,000 gallons per month.
You will only be billed for the gallons of water that you use.
Customers are encouraged to look at their bill online via the WaterSmart Portal. The online Portal has a built-in tool that lists conservation actions that customers can look through and decide which are right for their unique situation. These conservation actions are listed in the Take Action tab at the top of the WaterSmart Portal.
Additionally, if you are a residential sewer customer served by the Town of Prescott Valley, here is some information that could help you reduce the cost of your monthly water/sewer bill.
Each April, the Town of Prescott Valley calculates a new Winter Quarter Average (WQA) which determines your monthly sewer charge for the following year. The WQA is 90% of your November to March average water usage. For example, if your five month’s total water usage (Nov-March) is 25,000 gallons, the average water usage for this five-month period is 5,000 gallons a month; 90 percent of that 5,000-gallon average equals 4,500 gallons. Therefore, 4,500 gallons of sewer usage is the highest sewer volume amount for which you would be charged per month from April until to the new winter quarter calculation is figured for the following year. This calculation acts as a cap for how much you can be billed in regard to sewer. For example, if you used 8,000 gallons of water, you would be billed only for 4,500 gallons of sewer usage, since that is your established WQA.
But, if you used less than 4,500 gallons of water in a month, you would be billed the corresponding volume amount for your sewer usage equal to the water usage. For example, if your water usage for a given month during the year is 3,000 gallons, the sewer charge would be prorated to 3,000, not the 4,500 gallons calculated on your Winter Quarter Average. Your WQA works in your favor to provide you with the lowest possible sewer charge each month.
Since the WQA is based on water usage between November and March, any reduction in water usage during this time frame will also help reduce your overall water and sewer charges.
Other sources of information include the Town of Prescott Valley website at www.prescottvalley-az.gov/243/Water-Conservation, the Arizona Department of Water Resources webpage at www.azwater.gov/ , and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension website at https://extension.arizona.edu/
Prescott Valley is currently developing a new Conservation Plan which will be rolled out in the next few months. Options being considered include rebate programs for hot water circulation pumps and water efficient appliances, prohibition of ornamental turf, requirements for drought tolerant landscaping, and other conservation measures.
This fee will better enable the Town to maintain the stormwater system, with assigned staff dedicating 100 percent of their time to maintaining roadside ditches, the underground storm system and box culverts. The fee will allow the Town to obtain the proper equipment for the maintenance of this system and move forward with stormwater projects that will help to resolve some of the Town’s flooding issues. In addition, the fee will assist in designing and building recharge projects to help replenish the Town’s aquifer by slowing stormwater and allowing it to absorb into the aquifer, benefitting every resident of Prescott Valley. Historically these services were funded from fees that should pay for other Town services.
If approved by council, the initial fee will be $3 per month and will gradually increase over the next five years to $5 per month.
The Town of Prescott Valley does not collect any primary property taxes and is primarily funded by sales tax and state shared revenues. This does not generate enough funding to create a dedicated stormwater program.
If Council approves this fee, the first time you will see it on your utility bill will be in February 2024.
Residents may submit questions or comments online at email@example.com.
Both the Water Fund and Wastewater Fund are considered “Enterprise Funds” and are accounted for separately in the Town Budget. These Funds are self-sufficient, meaning revenues must meet expenditures, similar to a business. Funds are budgeted, expended, and audited annually to ensure the systems are maintained appropriately to provide clean drinking water and treat wastewater.