March 26 2019

Selectmen Approve Four Percent Sewer Rate Increase

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington residents and businesses will soon see a increase in their sewer bills.

On Monday evening the Board of Selectmen voted to approve new sewer rates with incremental increases for the next two years. The first of the increases, set at 4 percent, will go in effect on July 1

DPW Director John Sanchez said the increase was needed to meet the costs associated with joining the MWRA and the fact that rates had not been increased since 2013.

“If we don’t increase the rates we’ll be paying more than we collect,” he explained.

Last year the board approved an increase in the water rates for similar reasons.

Sanchez said the sewer rate increase will be modest when applied to the average resident’s bill with most seeing less than a $16-per-year rise in what they owe. For example, he said, the minimum yearly cost for water and sewer service, which affects 36 percent of residential customers, will go from $163.04 to $171.66 per year. Burlington’s average user, at 61,000 gallons per year, would see an increase from $335.04 to $351.80 per year.

Sanchez said that despite the increase Burlington’s rates for water and sewer fall below, sometimes well below, other towns in the area. Using a comparison for 90,000 gallons per year he provided the board with some examples. At that level of usage a Burlington customer would pay $631.36 for the year with the new rate. At that usage a Bedford resident would pay 2,072, a Winchester customer would pay $648, a Waltham resident would pay 1,122.60 and a Lexington resident would pay $1,637.60. The only municipality listed with a lower rate is Woburn who, in the example usage amount, would have residents paying $586.30.

Members of the Board of Selectmen said they were happy to know that even with the rate increase Burlington is still less expensive than most area communities.

“I never realized how low we are compared to other towns,” Selectman Joe Morandi said before joking about printing out the list and hanging it on his business’s wall for when residents ask about the new rates.


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