Greenfield (MA): Based upon usage, revenue projections and recent verifications of Enterprise Fund accounts by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, water and sewer rates will increase 10% as of July 1, 2019.
The current water rate will increase from $3.06/100 cu. ft. to $3.37/100 cu. Ft. The current sewer rate will increase from $5.00/100 cu. Ft. to $5.50/100 cu. Ft. These increases are required to support the City Council approved operating budgets and provide retained earnings for catastrophic, emergent or regulatory events. Homeowner's will see these increases beginning January 1, 2020. Adequate fund balances in each of the Enterprise Fund accounts ensures financial stability and is a sound financial best practice.
Director Marlo Warner states that “the increases will put us in a better position to pay for some of the future projects and comply with regulations/laws rather than to borrow." The Director adds, ”some of the necessary projects are complying with the DEP inflow/infiltration consent order, replacing the Leyden Woods Pump Station and meter replacement program.”
“With the analysis and assistance of Municipal Finance Director Liz Gilman,” Mayor William Martin explains “the rate remains in the middle of the municipal roster for operating costs of these services. Even though there is some reduction in water use related to conservation, our departments provide maintenance, repair and replacement for over 150 miles of water lines whether 1,500,000 gallons a day or 2,500,000 gallons pass thru our lines per day. Testing, monitoring and compliance reporting are the same and not affected by the volume of water used.”
The City of Greenfield is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, a designated Green Community and a recipient of the “Leading by Example” Award. With the stated increases, the city will remain below the median bill noted in the 2017 Tighe & Bond state survey. In Greenfield, the average annual water bill will be $404 and the average sewer bill will be $660 while the reported state average is $568 for water and $838 for sewer.
Martin added, “there is no guarantee that we will be able to contain the costs of operation but we must preserve our systems and guarantee continued high quality of safe drinking water.