Water Woes, 2011

Montclair’s water bill is expected to increase by 3 percent and will introduce a third tier of payment for excessive users starting on Jan. 1 2011.

Montclair isn’t the only one feeling the water woes, Glen Ridge residents have also been reporting higher water bills and Bloomfield and West Orange are paying more than both GR and Montclair.

The Montclair ordinance, which passed on first reading and will be voted on again at the next council meeting, proposes that consumers whose water service line is 1 inch or smaller, pay $3.13 per hundred cubic feet up to 3,300 cubic feet, and $3.43  for every hundred cubic feet of water usage that exceeds 3,300 cubic feet, a 10 percent increase.

“There’s a slight increase every year, instead of a year with no increase followed by a year with a larger increase,” Deputy Mayor Weller-Demming said.

“We need to finance debt in water utility,” Mayor Jerry Fried said. “That’s why we’re doing a small increase now.”

The third tier of water will be for excessive users who exceed 13,000 cubic feet per day like a new dorm will have a 20 percent increase. The existing two tiers are residential and commercial.

Other changes are a minimum quarterly charge for consumers whose water service line is 1 inch or smaller,  $31.30, and after the volume of 13,369 cubic feet per day, or that equivalent per calendar month,the rate of $3.73 per hundred cubic feet will be applied.

Senior citizens who qualify for a tax exemption and who are not property owners but whose water consumption is separately metered to their living unit will be entitled to senior citizen rates is a discount of 25 percent from the new rates.

Township Manager Marc Dashield said at the meeting although there is a small increase, Montclair’s water bill is still fairly low in comparison to other towns. He said Montclair residents will be paying $30.40, while Bloomfield residents pay $40.46 and West Orange, $61.71.

Glen Ridge residents have also been seeing an increase in their water bills since new meters were installed. GR Borough Administrator Michael Rohal said that the meters were replaced because they were 20 years old and slowing down, which wasn’t giving them accurate readings. Rohal said that Glen Ridge also did a similar rate restructure like Montclair and are also contemplating issuing a third tier of payment. “Our average rate of usage is about 1,000 cubic feet per month,” he said.

Even with the new meters, Glen Ridge residents are now paying $29.98 for their water, the lowest in Baristaville. “We have the lowest consumption rate for the same usage,” Rohal said.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. “We need to finance debt in water utility,” Mayor Jerry Fried said. “That’s why we’re doing a small increase now.”

    All those new water meters cost a fortune!

  2. “Other changes are a minimum quarterly charge for consumers whose water service line is 1 inch or smaller, $31.30, and after the volume of 13,369 cubic feet per day, or that equivalent per calendar month,the rate of $3.73 per hundred cubic feet will be applied.”

    What on earth does that mean?

  3. “Montclair’s water bill is expected to increase by 3 percent and will introduce a third tier of payment for excessive users starting on Jan. 1 2011.”

    Mean old waterbill.

  4. “Rohal said that Glen Ridge also did a similar rate restructure like Montclair and are also contemplating issuing a third tier of payment.” Glen Ridge are? Such copycats!

  5. “We have the lowest consumption rate for the same usage,”

    Cost? Lowest cost maybe? This makes no sense.

  6. well,

    Can’t we combine Water & Sewer bills and fire (aeehem layoff) a couple of town employees in the process?
    We can then also get rid of one complete billing system which also should bring costs down.

    Anyone with common sense out there? Hello Mr. Fried?

  7. Can any of the above be explained in English? It’s clear we’ll be paying more to finance debt, but what does the size of the pipe have to do with anything. And why oh why do we continue to waste money on nonsense when our bills keep going up? I don’t care if it’s only $5,000 (for now) that’s going toward the First Night celebration. The taxpayers should not be financing parties at the same time our town finances are imploding.

  8. This is difficult to understand but what I take away is that there will be “small” increases every year to finance the debt.

  9. “It’s not the size of your pipe, but what you do with it.” (For the cranky grammarians, just paraphrasing here with a bit of a tweak. I would never willingly end a sentence with a preposition. Shudder.)

  10. As all know, I’ve been trying to work with the Capital Finance Committee to get a handle on town debt.

    The Capital Finance Committee has been urging the town to convert short term debt, which can be pretty much rolled over for a long time, to long term debt. We have over $100MM in short term debt, the highest of any of the 70 towns the Committee studied.

    The Water Bureau is run by one of the most conscientious and knowledgeable people I know. It is HE who is insisting that the water debt be converted from short term to long term.

    God help us if all the $100MM has to be converted over a short period of time. The short term interest rates are below 1%. Long term, above 3%. This is what keeps members of the Committee up at night.

    Cary

  11. “We have over $100MM in short term debt, the highest of any of the 70 towns the Committee studied.”

    Its too bad that the accrual of the “highest debt” among 70 towns didn’t keep anyone up at night. And it’s also noteworthy that adding a mere million for South Park doesn’t keep anyone up. (on the council, anyway)

  12. I hear you Lucylou…but “it” is a pronoun and in the case of your sentence is a perfectly fine ending because the “it” refers to an established noun (in this case the pipe). So you are in the clear!! But I understand your fear of reprisals from the “fervent” grammarians who frequent this site.

  13. “fervent”?

    Even the casually acquainted with grammar would be astonished at this article. Written by someone with a degree in English, no less!

  14. Other changes are a minimum quarterly charge for consumers whose water service line is 1 inch or smaller, $31.30, and after the volume of 13,369 cubic feet per day, or that equivalent per calendar month, the rate of $3.73 per hundred cubic feet will be applied.”

    What on earth does that mean?

    What that means is large users (13,369cuft is 100,000 gals of water per day) will pay more. There is a cost of supplying large users, which includes maintenance of larger water mains, larger valves, and additional tank storage within the Montclair water system. We also have to maintain pumping stations and have additional auxiliary pumps for power failures. This also has costs.

    What does the size of the pipe have to do with anything?

    The size of the pipe has to do with the amount of water the line will flow. Once again we are discussing capacity available. A 1″ or smaller line will only flow 15gpm (gallons per minute) depending on where your home is located due to the pressure in the main. Obviously a 4″ or 6″ or a 16″ will flow LOTS more. There is a cost to be able to feed these lines (or the availability to have the water always available when needed), hence the additional cost for larger lines and capacity.

Comments are closed.