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.