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Water rate to rise in Smithtown, St. James

Customers in the Smithtown and St. James water districts will see their bills go up by more than 13 percent next year.

The Smithtown Town Board, which also serves as the town’s board of water commissioners, voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the rate hike.

Town officials said most of the rate hike was spurred by increases passed along to the town by the Suffolk County Water Authority, which sells water to the districts.

A water authority spokesman said the increases are because of “the increased cost of treatment, remediation and related costs.”

“It should be noted that this is the first time we’ve had to increase the rate in four years, and our rates are still among the lowest in the region,” water authority spokesman Tim Motz said in a statement.

Rates will go up Jan. 1 to $1.80 per thousand gallons from $1.59 per thousand gallons, a 13.2 percent increase. The minimum charge per quarter will rise to $18.25 from $15.25, a 19.7 percent increase.

The rates are the same in both districts, which are operated jointly by the town. Smithtown has about 6,000 customers, and St. James has about 4,000 customers.

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