Daily Archives: November 6, 2008

Average Phoenix water/sewer bill to rise about $4/month

[Source: City of Phoenix] — Phoenix residents who receive city water and wastewater services may see a moderate rise in their bill in March.  The average customer’s monthly costs for water and wastewater services may increase by $4.13 to $52.84 or 8.5%.   Many Phoenix water users would see a much lower increase since the new rates will apply only to water use above the base fee, which includes the first 4,488 gallons of water during October through May and 7,480 gallons during June through September.

[According to city officials,] Phoenix water services charges remain among the very lowest of comparable cities nationwide.  Most of the new revenues will be used to pay for construction costs related to federal environmental mandates, rehabilitation and replacement of aging water and wastewater lines, treatment plant improvements, new customer services technologies, and inflation.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix Councilman Nowakowski to hold community chat, Nov. 12

Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski invites District 7 residents to meet with him from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Desert West Community Center, 6501 W. Virginia Ave.  Share your thoughts with the councilman about issues affecting the community.  For more information, call 602-262-7492 or e-mail the district office.

Frank Fairbanks staying on as Phoenix city manager

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — City Manager Frank Fairbanks will spend a 19th year as Phoenix’s top non-elected official, saying he wants to help guide the city through unprecedented budget cuts next year.  Fairbanks, 62, signed a contract through December 2009.  He could leave earlier, either by his choice or the City Council’s, but neither outcome is seen as likely.  “He’s the heart and soul of the city,” said Mayor Phil Gordon, a strong Fairbanks supporter.  “It would be my desire that he stay at least as long as I remain.”

Fairbanks has worked for the city for 36 years and has been city manager since 1990.  He makes $236,995, and will make $242,446 beginning July 1.  The raise represents a 2.3% increase, the same as was given to the city employees represented by the Laborers’ International Union of North America.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix businesses may bankroll trolley service

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Like Scottsdale, Phoenix hopes a trolley is the ticket to downtown fun.  Surveys went out this week to gauge Phoenix business owners’ support for a late-night trolley that would take visitors to parking garages and to downtown nightspots.  It would be similar to the 22-seat, four-wheeled trolley that drives visitors around downtown Scottsdale.  Under the proposal, the trolley would makes stops at several businesses and two city parking garages, which would offer discounted evening fees.  The Downtown Phoenix Partnership plans to discuss the questionnaire’s results in a few weeks.

Shop owners hope that the trolley, which could cost $40 a week per business, could make downtown Phoenix more enticing for people who worry about parking or walking long distances, some say.  “We think that it could be a great selling tool for downtown Phoenix,” said Bill Smith, who owns several downtown restaurants.  While people could theoretically walk from a Dodge Theater show to Majerle’s Sports Grill, “the Phoenix market isn’t accustomed to that,” Smith added.  The buildings are roughly seven blocks apart.  The trolley would be bankrolled by several businesses and many details, including the final cost and the route, depend on how many shops participate, Smith said.

The talks come as the City Council voted to cut bus service after 10 p.m. and before 5 a.m. to save money.  The city must slash an estimated $250 million from its budget.  The free city-operated Downtown Area Shuttle, also known as DASH, stops running at 8 p.m.  The proposed downtown trolley could run as late as 2 a.m., when many bars close.  “If we stick with DASH it’s limited what we can do,” said Terry Madeksza, operations director for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  “The ball is in our court.”  The goal is to have the trolley in place by Jan. 1, around the time that light-rail service begins, Madeksza said.  Metro officially begins service Dec. 27.

CenPhoTV for the week of 11/6/2008

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living.  For more information, visit their website.