Water & Sewer Rate Adjustment
Proposed Rate Changes
The Town has recently contracted with Woodcock and Associates, Inc. to conduct a Water and Sewer Rate Study for FY2017. This rate study is a follow-up to the studies performed in FY2014 and FY2016 to ensure adequate revenue to support the obligations of both the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds in the coming years. The completed rate study is attached for your review.
Results from the attached rate study recommends no water rate increase for FY2017. However, considering the increases in the MWRA assessment resulting from Northborough’s increasing water demand, along with important future capital projects identified in the CIP, the rates will most likely need to increase modestly in subsequent years in order to keep pace with expenses.
The City of Marlborough has completed the $30 million expansion and upgrade to the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. While a new Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) with the City of Marlborough is needed to accurately determine the allocation of the Town’s future capacity and operating cost assessment, it is currently still pending, as we await the decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the renewal of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the plant. In the meantime, we know that the City of Marlborough has issued permanent bonds and will eventually assess Northborough for its share of the project costs.
Similar to what you have heard in the prior rate studies, given the potential for a significant assessment from the City of Marlborough, this rate study recommends a 20% rate increase in FY2017 for the Sewer Division. Similar rate increases will have to follow in subsequent years.