Tewksbury water rates will be going up starting July 1, but not by nearly as much as been thought.
Town Manager Richard Montuori told the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night he was changing his recommendation regarding the water rates for Fiscal Year 2014. Rather than the six percent increase he had earlier projected, Montuori said the increase would be just two percent.
For an average homeowner using 55,000 gallons of water a year, the increase it works out to a little over $8 a year, said Montuori. For an average family of four, using around 90,000 gallons a year, it amounts to an increase of roughly $16.26 per year.
Montuori said he was able to make the adjustment to the rate because water lien revenues, previously projected at $200,000, will actually be closer to $650,000.
"I'm comfortable dropping the water rate increase from six percent to two percent, " he said.
Selectman Todd Johnson pointed out that ever since the huge rate increase in Fiscal Year 2011, rates have remained relatively unchanged for the past three years. There was a decrease in Fiscal Year 2012, no change in Fiscal Year 2013 and now the slight increase.
"I think there has been a misconception regarding the water rates over the past few years," said Johnson, adding that prior to the Fiscal Year 2011 jump, it had been nearly two decades since the last rate hike.
The news was not as good regarding sewer rates. Despite an increase in sewer lien revenue projections from $350,000 to $500,000, Montuori said he felt he needed to stick with the eight percent rate increase for Fiscal Year 2014.
Montuori also announced that due to improved Enterprise Fund revenue projections, the town would not have to borrow any of the $1.275 million for the engineering and design work for the upgrade of the water filtration plant.
"I had been planning to take $675,000 out of Retained Earnings and borrow $600,000 (over 10 years)," said Montuori. "But now I can take the whole thing out of Retained Earnings. That will save us about $130,000 in interest."
In other business:
- The board approved the Run a Pleasant Mile 5K Road Race on May 5.
- The board tabled a vote on the renewal of the pool table license for Maverick's Restaurant and Lounge.
- The board appointed Rita O'Brien-Dee to represent the town on the board of Community Teamwork, Inc.
The board will meet again on April 2.
See More on Patch
- FY 2014 Budget Includes Increases In Water and Sewer Rates
- Selectmen Vote To Approve Eight Percent Sewer Rate Increase
- Montuori: No Water Rate Increases In FY 2013
- Will Tewksbury Water Rates Triple In Coming Years?
- Water Rates Cut, Sewer Rates in Hands of the Voters
- Town Officials in 'Hot Water' With Residents
- Residents Brace for Arrival of Hefty Water Bills