The Hempstead Town board voted unanimously last week to increase water rates by 5 percent per year for the next three years.
The rate increase, under the town’s Department of Water, Rates & Regulations, will take effect for water consumed starting Jan. 1, 2012. Residents might receive bills in January at the current rate for water consumed in previous months, town spokesman Michael Deery said.
“The modest positive adjustment to water rates will respond to many increasing expenses beyond the control of respective water districts under the water department,” said Deery, adding the board held a public hearing prior to the vote.
The increased cost of electricity and chemicals, as well as the need to install new equipment and use the latest technologies are factors that affect the cost of providing water, Deery said. The need to build new water plants and wells to meet increasing demand for water will also result in increased expenses for the water department, he said.