BY LUIS GRONDA
The Dept. of Environmental Protection announced another increase for the City’s water rates for the 2014 fiscal year.
According to a press release from the DEP, the agency is proposing a 5.6 percent increase in the water rate for next year, which is down from last year’s seven percent increase.
DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said in the release that the reason for the lowered increase is because of their commitment to cut costs without damaging their quality of service to New York City residents.
“Still, we recognize that any rate increase can be a burden on our customers, and we will continue to look for ways to further tighten our belts and work with our regulators to reduce the burden of unfunded mandates so that New Yorkers get the best possible water and wastewater services at the most affordable rates,” he said in a statement.
This increase would not take effect unless it is approved by the seven-member Water Board.
If it is approved, a single-family homeowner would see their water bill increase from $939 a year to $991 a year. They would pay $4 a month more than they currently pay. If you live in a multi- family home, you would pay $644 a year as opposed to the $610 you currently pay.
As part of their cutting costs measure, the DEP says that it is cutting their operating budget by four percent, which saves $37 million, according to the release.
Before the Water Board votes on the proposal, the DEP must hold public hearings in each borough to let the public speak their mind about the water rate hike.
The meeting in Queens will take place on May 2 at 7 p.m. at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127 or at email@example.com.