Ledyard – The Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve a 13 percent water rate increase and an 8 percent sewer rate increase, which will go into effect Oct. 1.
In the first of two public hearings this past summer, Water Pollution Control Authority Chairman Jim Diaz said that the agency's $926,542 budget exceeds projected revenue. The increase also will allow for the WPCA to pay off some debts and make infrastructure investments.
With the increase, the quarterly fixed rate for the first 10,000 gallons of water used in a single-family home will rise from $66 to $75. The $475 average annual water bill for residents is projected to increase to about $539.
Town Council Chairman Linda Davis said the old WPCA proposed a 30 percent increase five years ago, but the numbers "couldn't reflect the need."
Now, after a thorough financial review by the WPCA, Davis said the increase was clearly warranted, with "very little discussion from the public.
"The new WPCA has been working hard to get the financials in order," Davis said. "Based on that, there was a necessity to have an increase."
The last time the town's water rate increased for its 4,500 customers was in November 2009.