Chatham Water Rate Hike Under Consideration

CHATHAM – According to Chatham selectmen, increasing water rates should be considered. The additional funds would go towards capital projects and to improve the maintenance of water mains.

According to Public Works Director Tom Temple, the increase is, in part, to show state regulators that the town is taking steps to conserve water.

The town is also working with the state to increase its pumping capacity and there is some math involved.

“We’re currently at 1.32 million gallons per day, that average that their looking for is 1.17. As part of that permitting, they’re requiring us to mitigate that difference to get to the 1.63 million gallons that we’re trying to achieve,” he said.

Chatham currently uses one rate for summer and another for winter.

Most users pay a minimum amount that covers about 7500 gallons. Some who pay, especially low income seniors, use considerably less, but must still pay that amount.

Temple also made a comment regarding some of the questions that the state will need answered.

“They’re trying to find out when was the last time we performed a water and sewer rate study. The last time the department did a study was 2005 for the water and 2002 for the sewer,” he said.

The chairman of the economic development committee said that he is against the current proposal because it will hurt year-round working people and local businesses.

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