Bristol County Water Authority customers will see an increase in their water bills starting March 1.
BCWA board members approved a 4-percent rate increase during its December meeting, for fiscal year 2015.
In a letter to Barrington, Bristol and Warren Town Councils, BCWA Executive Director Pam Marchand said that the rate increase is necessary to support the costs of upcoming capital improvements for the utility’s infrastructure; to build prudent reserves to cover future Other Post-Employment Benefits as required by law; and to offset predicted reductions in consumption.
“Our revenue went up this year because we had an 11-percent rate increase,” Ms. Marchand told members of Bristol’s Town Council during a special meeting Jan. 9. “But our volume of service went down by three percent. We didn’t realize that entire 11-percent increase. We’re consistently down three-percent in demand, year over year.”
The proposed new rate would increase the average residential user’s bill by $1.68 per month, or .39 cents per week. According to the BCWA, the average residential user now pays $504.15 per year.
“Hopefully we’re going to start leveling out,” Ms. Marchand said. “We’re looking at a four-percent increase every year for the next 20 years.”