The Board of Aldermen’s Committee on Appropriations voted unanimously to recommend option 5B of the new water rate proposals last night. This was one of our primary recommendations. Included in this option are several significant proposals:
- An October 1, 2016, implementation start date for the FY17 rates, which eliminates the practice of charging for the previous year’s water usage at the current rate, a challenge in the city for several years.
- An amended senior discount ordinance, which opens the program to seniors who own condominiums in complexes that don’t have individual meters.
- Option 5B collapsed the third tier of the billing system, resulting in a two-tier rate that is simpler to understand while still conforming with state law. This allows the enterprise operations to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and will allow the DPW to continue to maintain and upgrade its infrastructure.
Special thanks to the members of the Board, especially Alderman Forbes, who is the aldermanic representative to the Melrose Water and Sewer Committee.
In addition to the new rates that were recommended last night, some other changes are under way. With nearly 90% of new residential meters in place, the Department of Public Works looks forward to completing its meter replacement program this summer and starting a pilot program for monthly billing during fiscal 2017. They are also in the process of developing a comprehensive inflow and infiltration program, which will be presented to the Board of Aldermen in the fall.