The Mohawk Valley Water Authority is proposing a 2% increase in water rates. For the average household, that's about $9/year. And while no one likes to see anything increase, the water authority says it's necessary to keep things running safely and securely.
MVWA's Executive Director Patrick Becher says higher costs of water treatment chemicals, unfunded federal mandates, and increased costs of maintenance supplies are to blame for the new proposed rate.
" Overall consumption is expected to drop about 2% and we've been seeing it decline steadily over the years and even though water usage is down most of our costs are fixed," says Becher, "and there is a cost to run it for maintenance repairs and renewal."
He says some of the water system is over a hundred years old, and with the system being underground, most people don't see it. The water main breaks and there are problems that go along with old equipment. "People turn on the sink in the morning and water comes out and all is well with the world," he says, "and most people don't understand what goes on in maintaining a system."
And while Becher says no one wants to pay more for the same service it's something he feels is necessary. "We feel we have a responsibility to the public to make sure that the system is operable and being maintained properly for future generations."
He says they've cut costs as much as possible in other places, to ensure the proposed rate is as low as possible. He says they're also looking to expand in order to bring in more money, which will offset future costs. If approved by the board, the new rate will go into effect April 1, 2012.