Falmouth Water Department Proposes Increasing Rates for Three Years

FALMOUTH -With a revenue shortfall of about half a million dollars, Falmouth Water Department Superintendent Stephen Rafferty has proposed increasing water rates by two percent annually over the next three years.

If approved, the minimum charge would increase to $59 in June, $60 in June 2020 and $62 in May 2021.

Rafferty warned that most people will continue to pay the minimum charge as 90 percent of the town’s water customers use a standard 5/8-inch residential water meter.

“Roughly half of all the billings we put out are only for the minimum,” said Rafferty. “A lot of that is driven by the seasonality of the homes and people who don’t use the water in the winter.”

Currently, customers who use in excess of 40 water units per year are charged an additional $3.30 per unit of water used. If the changes are approved, it goes to $3.37 in June, $3.43 in June 2020 and $3.50 in May 2021.

The town is also changing to a new billing system that is expected to be easier to adjust the rate structure after the transition is complete.

“We could come in here under one alternative, say ‘let’s raise rates by six percent and close that revenue gap’, but the town is in excellent financial health right now and we thought it would be better to ease it in at a two percent rate over the next three years, rather than at one time,” said Rafferty.

There will be no increase proposed for sewer fees.

Further discussion on the rates is expected to be made at the next selectmen meeting on April 22nd.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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