According to KRQE News 13 on May 17th:
Rio Rancho is now seeing a lot of people paying a fee to reconnect their water and one city councilor said it’s gone too far. Others, though, think it’s necessary.
“It’s citywide,” Chuck Wilkins said. “It’s not one area of town, it’s citywide.”
All across Rio Rancho, city councilor Chuck Wilkins says people can’t pay their water bills. If water service gets shut off, customers have to shell out $75 to get it reconnected.
“We were reviewing the budget, we had budget hearings all week,” Wilkins said. “We’re probably going to hit $500,000 or more [from reconnect fees]. That comes out to about 6,700 reconnects for the year.”
In 2012, the governing body voted on a five-year rate hike that ups it nearly 8 percent every year.
Fellow councilor Cheryl Everett said that fee is needed to replace failing water lines as sinkholes are too common in “The City of Vision.”
“Those that are jeopardized and impacted by water main breaks, potentially, are far greater than the number who need to find accommodations to pay their water bill,” Everett said.
In July, water rates will go up again in Rio Rancho by almost 8 percent. That trend will continue each year until 2017.