DiCiccio: Water rate increase pays for raises

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 22:41:14-05

Water rates are causing quite the stir in Phoenix. 

One council member is on a mission to expose what he calls the "truth" behind the recent rising prices.

Last week, the Phoenix City Council voted on a 2.6 percent increase to city water rates. Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who made the motion, claims the increase in money will go toward infrastructure.

"This is for capital expenses, which means water lines, fire hydrants," Councilwoman Williams said. 

But Councilman Sal DiCiccio says the money is actually going toward paying for employee raises.

"The whole thing was a scam back in 2010, and its a scam today," he said.

DiCiccio says compensation for an employee in the water department has increased from an average of $76,000 in 2009 to over $88,000 in 2016.

DiCiccio says the same thing happened back in 2010, when the city claimed to cut back, then moved employees to the water department and increased prices to cover the costs.

"It's indisputable," DiCiccio claims. "This is their numbers, their budget, and this is where the money is going to be going, the public has been fooled once again."

But CouncilwomanThelda Williams insists DiCiccio's math is wrong.

"Not true, absolutely not true," she said. "It makes me very angry."

Williams told ABC15 water employees are getting raises, but says the money is not coming from the recent rate hike.