urges Tucson Water to cancel the debt for customers who are behind on their bills

TUCSON, Arizona (KGUN) – The pandemic was challenging for everyone.

“For many people it may be a little over, but for many of us it’s not,” said Glenda Avalos, who volunteers at Casa Maria.

Avalos said she lost her mother to the pandemic.

Now she said, like others who gathered here on Wednesday, they are struggling to catch up with their finances.

“I know so many people who are now trying to figure out how to pay their water bills.”

Tucson Water said 10,000 accounts were behind with their bills totaling about $ 3 million.

That’s actually typical, the utility told KGUN9, in January it reported $ 9 million in overdue bills, the highest figure it hit during the pandemic.

Luz Acosta said the last bill that got to her home was about $ 130.

Her family is one of several at Casa Maria calling on Tucson Water to cancel the debt.

She said it was only a month since her family could repay it because Tucson Water threatened to take her to court.

Next week, Tucson City Council will host a public forum to discuss whether to raise water tariffs, also known as “differential tariffs,” for non-municipal areas.

This group said that if approved, these rate hikes should pay off existing debt.

“It would be a huge relief for my family as we struggle to get one bill and then look forward to another,” said Avalos.

Acosta said her son, currently a college student, works part-time to help his family pay their bills.

She said it was very difficult because he had to pay his internet bill for his school.

She added that I felt bad asking him for help but explained that she had to make ends meet.

Avalos said families worried about paying bills shouldn’t worry about running out of water during the hot summer months.

“Crossing the line, whether you lose it or not, is such a stressful situation.”

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