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Municipal Utilities Authority Hikes Water Rates by 4 Percent

Water consumption charges will increase by $5.36 for the year

The Lacey Municipal Utilities Authority (LMUA) approved raising water consumption rates by 4 percent at its annual rate hike hearing.

“It was necessary because the number of vacant homes and a reduction of water sales has decreased revenue,” Executive Director Edward Woolf said.

The adjustment to current water service charges is a $5.36 increase for the year. Depending on the meter size, the majority of Lacey ratepayers will pay $34.76 to $48.65 per quarter in 2013.

The rate increase is necessary to maintain the LMUA’s system and to meet its bond requirements, Woolf said.

In addition to the vacant homes, there were 1,464 delinquent accounts, amounting to $1.162 million, a number that has increased over time, Woolf said. That is 10 percent of the LMUA’s budgeted revenue.

There will be no increase in sewer rates for 2013 as the LMUA has been able to reduce the amount of wastewater to the Ocean County Utilities Authority.

Over the last five years, the LMUA embarked on an aggressive campaign to repair leaks, limiting the amount of tidal and rain water entering the system, he said.

The LMUA provides a collection of wastewater, which is then discharged to the OCUA and treated at the Central Plant in Bayville, Richard Warren, Executive Director of the OCUA previously said. The OCUA bills customers, such as the LMUA, based on the actual number of gallons discharged to the system.

The OCUA also didn’t increase its rates this year, he said.

With a $4.7 million sewer operation budget, $2.9 million goes to the OCUA, Woolf said.

In the future, the LMUA hopes to use two new wells as a form of rate stabilization.

“The new wells are installed and ready to go,” Woolf said.

The LMUA is currently expanding its water treatment plant, which should be completed in August, he said. 

Although contracts are not in the works yet, the LMUA is hoping to bring water to other towns with the wells’ excess capacity, he said. But its first priority is ensuring safe water for Lacey’s future.

Proposed Adjustments to Current Water Service Charges

Quarterly Service Charge Meter Size (inches)

2012 Rate

2013 Rate

5/8

$33.42

$34.76

3/4

$36.75

$38.22

1

$46.78

$48.65

1 1/2

$60.15

$62.56

2

$96.86

$100.73

3

$367.46

$382.16

4

$471.03

$489.87

6

$701.53

$729.59

8

$968.79

$1,007.54

 

 

 

 

2012 Rate

2013 Rate

Metered Water Consumption Charge

$5.17 per 1,000 gallons

$5.38 per 1,000 gallons

Piney in Forked River February 08, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Im surprised they didn't blame it on the rise in cost at the OCUA although im sure that might be coming as well. You all know about the OCUA 13 Commissioners 5K a yr FREE Medical Benefits and pension credits
Resident of Lacey February 08, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Ann, the town gets .the 2.3% they add-on to offset the 2.3% proccessing fees charged by the banks. This used to be prohibited by the processors, however this year that regulation was changed. You'll likely see more businesses start to do this as well. I already have.
Resident of Lacey February 08, 2013 at 01:07 PM
The MUA is not billing based on demand, they bill a minimum regardless of if you use it all or not a single drip. This practise should not be permitted however we have allowed it to go on unchecked so it is accepted. If you pulled up to the gas pump and were told there was a $100.00 charge regardless of if you filled-up or just topped off the weights and measures people would be all over that. This is not the case with MUA, use it or don't use it, you still pay for it.
proud February 08, 2013 at 02:43 PM
["There will be no increase in sewer rates for 2013 as the LMUA has been able to reduce the amount of wastewater to the Ocean County Utilities"] The rates for water increased because of revenues shortfalls,but the sewer rates remained the same even thoughit cost the "Authority" LESS. If increases are passed along to the ratepayer why aren't savings as well. Here's why...: {Authority.WOOLF EDWARD Ocean LACEY MUNICIPAL UTIL AUTHORITY $101,183 1 $101,183 Public Employees Retirement System } And, that reflects 2011 data. Has there been a raise? Health benefits go up? O T ? Any steps? Does the authority and the township recall the savings in the Recreation Department when the Director changed? Take a que,folks
Silver dollar February 20, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Can some one tell me if they think they are being ripped off ? In reading the above I see 1,464 Delinquent Accounts . 1.162 million loss or revenue. comes along a 4 % increase to off set revenue Now comes a tax sale and the LMUA receives 2 checks 1 for $413.717.11 @1 for $300.790.17 from tax sales In Feb 2013. that totals to $714.507.28 .Now they have a loss of $447.498 00 Not 1.162 million Why the 4% increase in rates which should be way under 2% ( Bend over)

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