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Suffolk Water Authority proposes 4.2 percent rate increase

The logo of the Suffolk County Water Authority

The logo of the Suffolk County Water Authority (2011) Credit: SCWA

The Suffolk Water Authority will hold a public hearing Monday at 4 p.m. at its Oakdale headquarters on a proposed 4.2 percent rate increase starting April 1.

Authority officials say the rate change would mean a nearly $13 increase for customers, raising the average annual bill to $345 a year, based on consumption of 160,000 gallons.

That rate increase would affect about 95 percent of the authority’s 385,000 households and businesses, serving 1.2 million Suffolk residents.

For wholesale water customers — the Greenport, Smithtown and St. James Water Districts — the rate increases would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2014, affecting about 9,900 customers.

The proposed rate increase would also be higher — 5.2 percent — for about 2,200 Bridgehampton residents who were once part of a private water company acquired a number of years ago, and currently have lower rates. Their proposed rates will increase $17 a year to $331 annually.

The rates for Fire Island customers — totaling about 2,500 — are proposed to rise 5 percent in part because the island’s population is largely seasonal and rates are based on consumption of 40,000 gallons. The proposed rates will result in an increase of $12.60 a year to $262.60 annually.

Authority officials say a board ruling on the rate increase should follow within several hours of the hearing if there is no adverse reaction when the five-member authority holds its monthly meeting. The rate increase is the third in a five-year rate plan recommended by the authority’s consultants.

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