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Water, sewer rates going up in Malden

Posted by Matt Byrne  July 27, 2011 10:04 AM

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The cost of water is going up in Malden.

New rates were approved unanimously Tuesday night by the city's Water and Sewer Commission at a regular hearing.

The minimum charge will increase $2, to $7, for most homeowners.

The cost at the meter will also go up between 12.4 percent and 15.6 percent, depending on usage.

The first 800 cubic feet used will be billed at $3.71 per 100 cubic feet; for customers who consume between 801 and 12,000 cubic feet, the cost will increase 85 cents, to $7.29 per 100 cubic feet.

At the highest tier, for users of more than 12,000 cubic feet per month, the cost will rise $1.28, to $9.49 per 100 cubic feet.

Sewer charges, based on the same cubic-foot measurement and tier system, also increased. While the minimum charge of $3 remained unchanged, the first level of use, between 201 to 800 cubic feet, increased 30 cents, to $4.80 per 100 cubic feet. Use between 801 to 12,000 cubic feet will cost an extra 30 cents per 100 cubic feet, to $8.61. For more than 12,000 cubic feet of sewer use, the cost jumps 94 cents, to $9.82 per 100 cubic feet.

At the hearing, a city consultant recommended the increases, citing hikes in water-sewer debt, plus unchanged or slowing consumption.

"Everything has gone up," said Douglas W. Gardner, of Pioneer Consulting.

Water in Malden is provided by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, which bills the city annually  based on a complex formula that counts the previous three years' of usage patterns, Gardner said.

This year, the rates will rise an additional $300,000 for a $22 million bill from the MWRA, he said, which the city pays off in 10 equal portions.


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