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Nassau water authority raises rates

The Water Authority of Western Nassau County has adopted a 4.84 percent water rate increase effective June 1. The average residential customer’s annual bill would go up $16 to $346.14 from last year. The average commercial customer would see an annual increase of $56 to $1,205.77 from last year.

On May 26, the authority approved a $13.2 million budget for 2011-12, a 4.78 percent increase over the previous year. The spending plan includes funding for a 2 percent salary increase and calls for the elimination of one seasonal position and the replacement of two retiring employees with trainees.

The authority said 2.9 percent of the rate increase is to pay for debt costs under its five-year capital program. The authority issued $40.9 million in bonds in April 2010 for improvements to the water system, including the construction of headquarters on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park. The authority is also installing two iron-removal plants in Franklin Square and Elmont.

The water authority serves a population of 140,000 with its mostly residential customers in the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, as well as several villages.

Water consumption has been increasing slightly, according to the authority. Based on a seven-year trend, residential customers are projected to use 106,000 gallons in 2011-12, up from 105,000 gallons the previous year.

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