Gilbert Chamber Supports 2024 Proposed Utility Rate Increase

In a memo to Mayor Brigette Peterson and members of Gilbert Town Council, the Gilbert Chamber expressed support for the 2024 Proposed Utility Rate Increase and the gradual Cash/Bond funding approach being considered. This approach reflects a commitment to the long-term well-being of our community and the responsible management of resources.

We recognize that Gilbert remains desirable for residents and businesses because of careful planning and forethought. Investing in critical infrastructure projects that provide a clean, safe, and reliable water supply is a proactive and responsible approach to current and future needs. While an increase in user fees is never desired or ideal, we can appreciate the unprecedented external factors that have had a direct and significant impact on the cost of these projects.

The Gilbert Chamber appreciates the effort to approach these infrastructure projects in phases, negotiate guaranteed maximum prices with contractors, and encourage contractors to find cost savings whenever possible. As with any price increase, there will be tertiary impacts on the business community, and the cost will be passed on to consumers. By providing a gradual funding model, business entities can identify reasonable and well-planned efforts to balance this increased cost with their desire to protect their delivery and customer base. Additionally, funding through a bond is not likely necessary for 2 to 3 years, allowing for additional evaluation of the needs, project priorities, identification of cost-saving measures, phasing analysis, and alternate funding sources.

As our town grows, so does the demand on our infrastructure and services. The proposed utility rate increase is a prudent and necessary measure to follow through on projects already committed to the community. Our businesses have invested in Gilbert; this funding and completion of these infrastructure projects ensure the continuation of the reliable and efficient services we have come to expect.

We appreciate the communication efforts by town staff on this matter and their ability to address any concerns or questions as they arise. On behalf of the Gilbert Chamber’s Board of Directors, I thank you for your dedication to the well-being of Gilbert.

Recommendations for a formal position on behalf of the organization are put forth by the Public Policy Committee and undergo a thorough review process. The Board of Directors is responsible for the final review and approval of all positions, ensuring alignment with the organization's values and strategic objectives.