Water and Sewer Rates Increasing
Residents will be getting their sewer and water bills this month and they will find rate increases. Selectmen approved the rate hike Tuesday night.
The sewer work that has torn up roads in Framingham will soon have residents and businesses digging deeper into their wallets to pay for their own sewer and water usage.
Rates for water and sewer consumption were approved Tuesday night by the Board of Selectmen and a review of the rates indicated the average homeowner will be paying about $117 more for water and sewer this year then was paid last year.
The increase is partly due to a 75 percent increase in the debt service for the town-wide sewer work and a modest 25 percent increase in debt service for improvements to the water infrastructure.
The East Framingham Sewer Improvements Project cost in the neighborhood of $40 million. Funds to pay for the massive project have come from federal stimulus money, loans for state programs and borrowed money.
The MWRA, or Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, also increased its assessments to Framingham by 6.8 percent for water and 3.8 percent for sewer which is reflected by the bump up in rates.
When the rates for water and sewer are combined residents can expect increases ranging from 10.6 percent to 12.6 percent depending on their usage. ,Bill will be mailed this month.
Framingham’s Chief Financial officer Mary Ellen Kelley presented the rate increases during the Board of Selectman’s meeting Tuesday.
According to Kelley’s figures, the average home in tier 2 with an estimated annual consumption of 120 units of water and sewer, can expect to pay $10.11 per unit, which is up from $9.14 last year. That would make the resident’s annual bill $1,213, a rise from last year’s $1,096.
For elderly residents the per unit increase is set at $7.11, a 10.6 percent increase from last year’s $6.43. Business will take the biggest hit with a per unit rate increase of 12.6 percent from $20.14 cents in 2011 to $22.67 in fiscal year 2012. FY 2012 began on July 1.
Kelley told the Selectmen the increases are here to stay.
“You are looking at these increases for the next three to four years,” as the sewer project continues, she said.
Framingham, however, continues to rank low in water and sewer rates when compared to other towns serviced by MWRA. A chart supplied by Kelley shows that residents of neighboring towns are paying higher rates than Framingham.
Ashland’s average usage bill is estimated at $1,635 annually; Newton $1,590; Brookline $1,416; Wellesley $1,307; and Natick $1,287. Only Lynn, Boston, Malden and Clinton are paying less per household than Framingham.