Time is running out for Tucson Water customers who want to offer an opinion on the utility's proposed rate increases.

Tucson Water will host town halls tonight and Wednesday to present the three rate-increase options it's proposing for next fiscal year.

Average residential customers can expect an increase of between $2.91 and $3.68 on their monthly water bill.

The town halls start at 5:30 p.m. The presentation on rates, fees and options begins at 5:45 p.m. City staff and members of the Citizens Water Advisory Committee members will be on hand to answer questions.

Tonight's town hall is at the Randolph Regional Center, 200 S. Alvernon Way in the Mesquite Room.

Wednesday's will be at the William Clements Recreation Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Drive.

"These town halls provide an opportunity for our customers to learn about the financial operations of our utility," said Alan Forrest, Tucson Water director in a press release. "Customers also provide input that Mayor and Council may consider in making their decision."

The Tucson City Council will hold a formal public hearing at its May 21 meeting. The council is expected to vote on a new water rate schedule immediately following the hearing.

Each year, the advisory committee makes rate and fee recommendations based on revenue requirements of the water system and Tucson Water's budget proposals. This year Tucson Water needs to close a $12 million gap in its budget.

More information, including the rates presentation and proposed and current rate schedules, is posted on Tucson Water's website at www.tucsonaz.gov/water or available by calling (520) 791-4331.

Darren DaRonco