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Water and sewer rates jump in Framingham

Posted by John Swinconeck  July 11, 2013 07:50 PM

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The average family in Framingham will pay a combined $196 more annually for water and sewer, or 16 percent, thanks to a newly imposed rate hike. Selectmen voted in implement the increases on Tuesday.

Town Manager Robert Halpin said there were two factors that account for the increase: Residents are consuming less water, and a consent decree to update the town’s water and sewer infrastructure.

Increases in consumption lead to lower rates. However, as those in Framingham have used less water, their rates are going up.

At nearly $19.5 million, this year’s water budget is about 12 percent greater than last fiscal year’s, and includes $1.6 million more in debt service.

This year’s sewer budget is about 8 percent greater than last fiscal year’s, and includes an increase of almost $1.5 million in debt service.

According to information provided by Halpin, the increase in debt service is due to the completion of a number of capital improvements to the water and sewer system.

“There are high fixed costs in delivering water, and those fixed costs need to be covered,” Halpin said in an interview on Thursday.

The average family pays about $120 a month for water and sewer.

The rate increase goes into effect on the billing cycle beginning July 1, and will remain in effect until June 30, 2014, said Halpin.

Contact John Swinconeck at johnswinc@gmail.com. Follow @johnswinc on Twitter.

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