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Melrose looking to hire consultant to review water and sewer rates

Posted by Jarret Bencks  April 4, 2013 09:35 AM

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Melrose is looking to hire a consultant to assess the water and sewer rate setting process in an effort to combat rising rates imposed by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

Last year, the residential water rate in Melrose rose 7.6 percent, the commercial rate rose 7.8 percent and the sewer rate went up 2.7 percent. The changes resulted in a $42.50 bill increase for the average homeowner.

"(Hiring a consultant) will help us develop strategies to address the ongoing increases in the MWRA's water and sewer rates in the cities and towns under its jurisdiction," Mayor Rob Dolan said in a letter to Melrose aldermen.

The assessment will include looking into whether the city should use different methods of billing and tiered rates, according to Dolan's letter. It will also include a review of second-meter policies and conservation efforts.

The proposal to hire a consultant will be considers by the Board of Aldermen's appropriations committee on April 8.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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