OLD TOWN, Maine — If a proposed rate hike is approved, residential customers of the Old Town Water District will see their rates increase about 7 cents a day beginning April 1. The requested increase also would affect industrial and commercial users.
The rate increase, approved by district trustees at their November meeting, will be initiated early in 2010 with a standard request to the Maine Public Utilities Commission. A public hearing will be scheduled to explain the need for higher rates. A notice of the time and place of the meeting will be mailed to each of the district’s approximately 3,000 customers.
Frank Kearney Sr., superintendent of the Old Town Water District, said current water rates have been in effect since 2003. The present minimum charge of $38 per quarter for up to 9,000 gallons would increase to $44.16. Kearney said that Old Town’s rates are in the bottom third of the water utility charges in Maine and will remain below average even if the increase is approved.
“The trustees have worked for months on the new rates,” Kearney said. “They know it is important to get it right. The board worked to minimize the increase while still maintaining a safe and reliable public water system.”
Kearney said the cost of running a public water system has increased faster than the rate of inflation, including pipe, chemicals, energy and personnel expenses. The district also plans for ongoing and long-term improvements to the system.
Customers with questions are encouraged to contact the superintendent at 827-2145 or to attend the public hearing early next year.