- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Water rates in Phoenix are going up in two months.

City Council members voted 5-4 Wednesday to raise water rates for about 430,000 households and businesses with city utility service.

The average Phoenix resident will pay $1.59 more per month on their water and sewer bill starting in March.

The 2.6 percent hike will be followed by an additional 2 percent increase in 2017.

This year’s increase will bump the average residential bill to about $59.77 per month.

Phoenix hasn’t increased water or sewer rates for three years, but city officials say the water system is operating at a loss.

Officials say the city avoided increasing its rates in recent years by drawing down its water reserve funds and refinancing bonds to save money.

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