June 12 2018

Water Rate Increase Set for July 1

By: Rich Hosford

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

On Monday evening the Board of Selectmen voted to approve new water rates with incremental increases for the next three years. The first of the increases will go in effect on July 1.

DPW Director John Sanchez told the board the rate increase is needed to meet the town’s obligations in its move to connect to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA). In May, Town Meeting voted to approve an initial connection through Lexington and the ability to draw up to one million gallons per day as needed to meet the town’s need.

“The need for rate increases is directly related to funding the newly created Water Stabilization Fund to cover expenses related to the Town joining the MWRA,” Sanchez said in a letter to the board. “The new rates goal is to create new water revenue in the amount of $3,200,000 in 10 years.”

Sanchez said the increase will be modest. As an example he said the “minimum bill”, which affects 36 percent of residents, will go from $158 to $163 per year.  Burlington’s average user (61,000 gallons per year) will see an increase from $327 to $334 per year. He added that 62 percent of all residential customers use less than 60,000 gallons per year.

Since Burlington does have tiered pricing for water rates, users who use significantly more water than average will see higher bills. Those who use 90,000 gallons a year will have an increase from $588 to $601.

Similar rate increases are expected for the next decade. In total, Sanchez said they expect to raise the necessary funds by raising rates an average of $10 per year for the next 10 years.

Still, Sanchez said Burlington residents will still pay less than most area communities. He compared Burlington’s 90,000 gallon per year bill that will be $770 after 10 years of increases to other communities as they stand now. In Bedford that rate is $1,908, in Lexington it’s $1,541, in Reading residents pay $2,420, in Waltham they pay $1,123 and in Waltham the bills are $1,172 for 90,000 gallons per year. Only Woburn has a lower rate at $533 per year for that amount.


 


 

 
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