Town water rates could increase under a plan the Riverhead Town Board is considering in response to a $319,682 average deficit in the town water district over the past five years.
Water district superintendent Mark Conklin and consultant John Collins of Melville-based company H2M proposed increasing minimum rates on larger water meters, which are mostly located at commercial properties, while leaving minimum rates unchanged for smaller residential meters. Mr. Conklin and Mr. Collins estimated such a move would generate an additional $25,000 in annual revenue.
According to district statistics, 11,573 customers have meters of one inch or less, while 653 have larger meters. Water rates increase once a minimum gallonage is reached; the minimum gallonage depends on the meter’s size.
Officials are also proposing to decrease the maximum gallonage for all meters, meaning customers will pay the higher amount sooner. According to Mr. Collins, this would lead to an estimated revenue increase of $169,500 per year. In addition, Mr. Collins and Mr. Conklin are proposing a 15 percent rate increase for customers who exceed the maximum gallonage. This would generate an additional $583,000 in estimated annual revenue, they said.
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