Township Considers Sewer Rate Amendments
New rates based on Long Term Financial Planning Committee recommendations.
The Montville Township Committee voted Tuesday to introduce an ordinance to amend sewer rates based on the recommendations of the township's Long Term Financial Planning Committee (LTFPC).
Under the new rates, residential customers' fixed rates would be reduced from $95 to $80 per quarter and the variable rate of $3.65 per thousand gallons used would be reduced to $3.10. Commercial rates would also be lowered.
Water/sewer rates have been a topic of much discussion after the township committee learned that the Montville Township Water and Sewer Department generated about $4 million cash by operating on a surplus for the past several years. The surplus was not thoroughly discussed at the township commitee meeting Tuesday, as Township Administrator Victor Canning said he is still waiting to receive feedback from the state on the township's options for what to do with the additional money, whether it be returning it to ratepayers, giving ratepayers a one-time holiday or using the money for something else.
"They're still working on the final numbers because we have to be mindful of the billing cycles and how they will go into the year 2013," Canning said.
Canning advised the committee to vote separately on the rate adjustment. Commiteeman Jim Sandham was the lone voter against the ordinance which followed the LTFPC's recommendations for the new rates. Sandham said he felt the variable rate for high-end users should not be lowered because it promotes conservation. He proposed a lower flate rate and higher variable rate, such as a $70 flat rate for residential users with a $3.67 variable rate or a $75 flat rate with a $3.39 variable rate.
"Pure dollars, in and of itself, is not as significant as we have a process in place that charges more for higher use," Sandham said.
Ultimately, the majority of committee members voted in favor of the LTFPC's rates and the ordinance was introduced. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the township committee meeting on June 12.
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