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Water, sewer rates to increase for authority customers

Most customers of the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority will see higher bills in January.

The authority voted for a water and sanitary rate increase Wednesday, said John Baker, authorities’ director of finance.

Due to the economic impact of the virus, the authorities deferred rate increases until January, according to Michael Miller, authority executive director. No late payment fees have been assessed since March and temporary suspension of shut-offs had occurred, he said.

The rate for water goes from $5.80 to $6.10 per thousand gallons consumed. For the average family using 42,000 gallons of water per year, the increase is $12.60 per year, or $1.05 per month, Baker said.

Increases are due to funding reservoir and dam maintenance and distribution system upgrades on West Fourth, East Third and other streets, he said.

The authority anticipates committing more than $17.9 million in capital spending over the next four years, Baker said.

The sewer rate increases about $1.75 per month for the same average household use, he said.

The authority operates two wastewater treatment plans and anticipates increased costs for that need, he said.

A capital plan of $7.8 million over the next four years will come from sewer consumption rates, restricting cash balances and potential state and federal grants, Baker said.

“We will continue monitoring our actual revenues and expenses over the next six months, confirming budget assumptions and projects prior to the Jan. 1 rate proposed adjustment,” Baker said.

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