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Friday, April 3, 2009

Ho-hum, Another Huge Water Rate Hike

It comes as no surprise to any of us following water rates that the Water Board announced a planned 14% rate hike for this July 1st. This hike will add to the 14.5% increase last year, 11.5% in 2007 and 9.4% in 2006, a cumulative increase of 59% in just four years.

The Daily News provides coverage of this morning's meeting and announcement, including an appearance by Comptroller Thompson. In addition to DEP's monster budget, both conservation and delinquencies are up, contributing to the need for the rate increase.

And don't forget to pay your water bill, especially if you live in a single family home.

We will have more coverage of this topic in the coming weeks.

Read more about the need for water rate reform here.


  1. I am sorry, why is this ho hum?

    A big story about Yankee Stadium, but nothing about the reason why the water board cost is going up up up?

    Why is it that TWO MLB Stadiums can be built in less time (and therefore less money) than the Croton Filter Plant?

    Why not correlate the high price to over 3 billion to the increased water rates? The water rates were not projected in the EIS, so were they lying?

    While it is nice to recap the news in other media, the problem is that the status quo media is not reporting the news correctly. We depend on local papers to do the right thing .......but that looks like another lost case.

    Did you notice that king bloomie is naked?

  2. Karen, I'm sure Greg will respond, but his headline was clearly sarcastic. His organization, University Neighborhood Housing Program, has been following water rate hikes and its impact on affordable housing for a couple of decades. And Greg has often written about it on this blog.

    Thanks for commenting. Keep on raising these important issues and we'll keep covering them.

  3. Karen - I didn't have the "ho-hum" in the title at first. But Jordan is right, there's more than just a hint of sarcasm in it. I included it because the increase was 100% expected. I've written about the reasons behind the increases in the past, and nothing has changed since then. The filtration plant, DEP's massive budget, debt service, the rental payment, paying for street cleaning, an uptick in conservation, billing problems and people unable to pay their bills all contribute to this now annual double digit increase. The Water Board has commissioned a study on rates, but the consultant is still working on it. Maybe next year we'll see some improvements.

    Also, I ask for a little forgiveness, but I didn't have more time to work on the post (not to pull the blog-card, but this kind of post would never run in the Norwood News). Hence, why I mentioned that more on the topic would be coming out from us in the near future. I just wanted to get the word out on the impending increase.

    As for our Mayor, he demoted the Water Board President (Jim Tripp) once Tripp agreed to question some of the logic behind the increases. The only member of the Board to not sign the letter to Bloomberg is the new President. It's all much more politically expedient than raising taxes in a City of renters.

    You'll get more of this in the coming week.

  4. Jordan and Greg, given the state of the economy, the fact that the Mayor is double taxing the already overburdened home owner, the out of control agency unable to live within a budget, and the inept and leaderless City Council, you should be identifying the outrage.

    It was not supposed to be like this!

    We are talking about water, but it looks like the City is only interested in enlarging the general fund. What is that spent on? Who oversees it? Who determines what expense gets paid from it?

    Look at what is going on in Europe. We have to create an environment where people are able to ask questions.

    Who will lead if not you? I am sorry, but we need you to be active.

  5. when the MTA wants to raise fares, which affects many, (but not all), it's front page news.

    when the water board wants to raise water rates, which affects ALL, it's just another news brief, if that.

    the media does a miserable job reporting what goes on with the water board and the DEP, which is why they get away with massive snow jobs, outright lies, and monumental inefficiency.

    e.g. how come what greg has to say here about jim tripp has not been reported by anyone?

    and bill thompson's outspokenness on this is welcome. but if he weren't running for mayor, he'd still be under the table hiding with the rest of y'all.


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