Ahwatukee Foothills News - 7.7.2021

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021






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Unpaid city water bills near $10.5M and counting BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor


@AhwatukeeFN |


elinquent city water accounts are soaring in Phoenix as officials continue their pandemic-related policy of not turning off the tap for households and businesses that aren’t paying their bill. More than 21,500 Phoenix households have run up a tab totaling $7.3 million while 609 businesses owe another $2.2 million, according to a report that the City Manager’s office sent City Council last Thursday.

Legislature makes mask mandates a thing of the past

Combined with accounts that stole water and now owe $1.1 million, delinquent Phoenix Water Services Department customers – 22,923 businesses and households – owe $10,489,000, according to the report. Total project revenue from all water accounts is estimated at $850 million this year. The total now owed for water services is more than five times the $1.8 million in delinquencies the city faced just two years ago and there appears to be no plan for recouping the money any time soon. Aside from a closed-door discussion of the

Hit parade!

problem, City Council has yet to address the problem and apparently won’t be taking up the matter until it returns from summer break. “We are planning for a discussion with Council in the fall when they are back from break,” administration spokeswoman Stephanie Bracken told AFN Friday. “In the meantime, we are working closely with residents who are in need of some help paying their bills through our various assistance programs.” To help customers pay their water and other

see WATER page 18



he flashpoint for the longest-running controversy throughout the 2020-21 school year in Ahwatukee – mandatory face masks on campuses – was obliterated last week as a future tool for school districts as the Republican majority in the Legislature passed a measure banning such mandates. Making it effective July 1, the measure “prohibits a county, city, town, school district governing board or charter school governing body from requiring students or staff use face coverings during school hours and on school property.” That means districts not only are forbidden from requiring students and staff to wear

see MASK page 13

The 22nd annual Ahwatukee Children’s Fourth of July Parade sponsored by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce and Mountain Park Ranch HOA was held the day before Independence Day but scores of kids who attended weren’t paying the calendar any mind. Among the winners were Hazel Sheridan, 2, left, and Amelia Sheridan, 5, who took first place for best decorated wagon. For other photos, see page 22. (Pablo Robles/AFN Staff Photographer)

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