MDC Hosts Public Hearing On Proposed Treated, Untreated Water Rate Increases

Residents of Hartford and several area cities and towns may be paying more for their water in 2018 if the Metropolitan District’s water bureau approves a proposed price hike.

MDC water bureau members heard from a few people at a sparsely attended public hearing Wednesday afternoon but did not vote on the increase because not enough members were present.

The MDC has proposed increasing its treated water rates from $2.77 to $3.15 per 100-cubic foot, or HCF, and its untreated water rates from $1 to $1.50 per HCF. Water is measured in HCF units and the average household uses about 100,000 gallons or 133 HCF per year.

Households in member towns — Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor — and nonmember towns, Farmington, Glastonbury, East Granby and South Windsor — will pay around $50 more if the rate hike is approved.

The proposal comes as the MDC is scheduled to vote next month on a roughly 10 percent budget increase.

West Hartford resident Judy Allen, a member of Save Our Water CT, said she was in favor of the proposed rate increases, noting that the MDC’s rates have been lower than many other water companies in the state.

“When so many around our state, country and even the world have poor quality or limited access to clean water, we should be grateful for the water provided by the MDC and not take it for granted,” Allen read from a statement. “I hope the MDC spends this money wisely for its best possible use.”

State Rep. Tom Delnicki, R-South Windsor, and state Rep. Gary Byron, R-Newington, both opposed the rate increases.

“A great portion of the population in Newington is on a fixed income,” Byron said, “and a rate increase two years in a row is tough to handle.

“My constituents not only want to know why, but should we expect an increase every year?” Byron asked.

The water bureau was expected to vote on the rate changes but lacked a quorum.

MDC spokesperson Kerry E. Martin said the water bureau will look to meet before the district board adopts a final budget. That vote is scheduled for Dec. 4. The proposed budget is $167.3 million, a roughly $15 million or a 9.8 percent increase over the current budget.

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