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Freeport trustees OK water rate hike

The famous Freeport water tower, as seen from

The famous Freeport water tower, as seen from South Ocean Avenue in the village. (Sept. 27, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Water usage rates in Freeport will rise $95 per year for the average homeowner, after the village trustees voted an increase Monday night.

The hike, approved unanimously, will cause the average residential water bill to climb to $487 per year, officials said. An average water user is described as one who uses 150,000 gallons of water in a year, officials said.

The village water department needs to raise rates because of a combination of debt payments and repairs to the system, said Bob Holzmacher, a consultant to the village. The department has a budget of about $5 million annually, he said.

“It’s an unhappy topic,” Holzmacher said.

The rate hike will allow the water department to raise an extra $1.24 million, Holzmacher said. That will allow the department to dedicate $465,000 to capital improvements, $622,000 to paying down its deficit and debts, and $150,000 to stabilizing future rates, he said.

 

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