Water fees are rising for customers in Jacksonville, Phoenix and possibly elsewhere after a 12 percent increase in Medford Water Commission rates.

Water fees are rising for customers in Jacksonville, Phoenix and possibly elsewhere after a 12 percent increase in Medford Water Commission rates.

The commission in March increased its charges to Central Point, Eagle Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Talent from 49 cents to 55 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, the first increase in five years.

Jacksonville and Eagle Point have passed the increase on to their customers. Talent and Central Point will not raise rates but search for ways within water department budgets to absorb the cost. Neither city has ruled out an increase later. Phoenix's City Council will consider implementing a franchise fee it is allowed to collect. All cities add additional charges to the water rate to pay for water department operations, maintenance and improvements.

Talent has a basic charge for a residence of $12 that includes the first 3,000 gallons. The next 1,000 gallons cost $4.05. Phoenix has a basic charge of $31.40 that everyone pays for the first 700 cubic feet, or 5,236 gallons. Central Point has a basic fee of $3.12 and charges $1.56 for every 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons.

Jacksonville has a basic rate of $9.90 and charges $1.29 for every 100 cubic feet of water with the increase. Eagle Point now charges $1.55 per 1000 gallons consumed and has a base rate of $10.31.

Medford rates jumped from 53 to 57 cents per 1,000 gallons in March. In the summer the rate is 62 cents per thousand. Medford's rates previously increased in 2007. A basic charge of $6.95 per residence does not include any water.

— Tony Boom, for the Mail Tribune