Water & Sewer Rate Adjustment
Proposed Rate Changes
The Town has recently contracted with Raftelis Financial Consultants to conduct a Water and Sewer Rate Study for FY2019. This rate study is a follow-up to the studies performed in FY2014, FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018 to ensure adequate revenue to support the obligations of both the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds in the coming years. The completed rate study is attached for your review.
Results from the attached rate study recommends a 5% water rate increase for FY2019. Considering the increases in the MWRA assessment, along with important future capital projects identified in the CIP, the rates will most likely need to increase modestly in subsequent years in order to keep pace with expenses.
The City of Marlborough has completed the $30 million expansion and upgrade to the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. While a new Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) with the City of Marlborough is needed to accurately determine the allocation of the Town’s future capacity and operating cost assessment, it is currently still pending, as we await the decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the renewal of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the plant. In the meantime, we know that the City of Marlborough has issued permanent bonds and will eventually assess Northborough for its share of the project costs.
Sewer rates have increased significantly in recent years with three consecutive 20% increases. The uncertainty of the IMA requires conservative assumptions to be made for this and upcoming years. Results from the attached rate study recommends a sewer rate increase of 5% for FY2019.