Sewer rate for estates up $1.27

GREENVILLE — Sewer rates for the Greenville Estates housing development will be rising by $1.27 this year, set by the Select Board as $6.05 per 1,000 gallons of usage during a public hearing on Wednesday.

Greenville Estates pays a separate rate from the rest of the town, based on a mathematical formula, as part of a 50-year contract it signed with the town 18 years ago. Even with the increase, the rate is significantly lower than the current town rate, which was set at $16.50 last year. Rates for the rest of the town are expected to be set in a separate public hearing next month.

This will be the first significance increase for Greenville Estates in several years. In 2011, for example, Greenville Estates was paying a rate of $5.91 per 1,000 gallons, while the rest of the town was paying $13.10, according to meeting minutes from Sept. 12, 2012. As of June 2012, Greenville Estates was paying a rate of $4.77 per 1,000 gallons, while the town rate was $15.60, according to meeting minutes from June 27, 2012. Last year, Greenville Estate’s rate was set at $4.78.

Tara Sousa, manager for Greenville Estates, attended a public hearing on the rates Wednesday, and noted that she had checked the formula used to calculate the rates, and that under the terms of the contract, the increase was valid.

The board also discussed with Sousa the effect that moving from a twice a year billing cycle to a quarterly cycle would have on the tenants of Greenville Estates. Sousa said that she could see the benefit in a quarterly billing process for the customers, but there may be logistical problems from the management side of things. Sousa noted that Greenville Estates allows its residents to pay a percentage of the anticipated bill every month to assist with budgeting, which between 10 and 20 percent opt to do.

That money is held in an account until bills are issued. Greenville Estates houses approximately 190 people.

Select Board member Carla Mary noted one of the reasons that the town was considering billing more often was to identify any issues such as leaks that might have occurred between billings. She asked Sousa if many tenants of Greenville Estates discovered leaks following a billing period. Sousa said that one or two had, but that Greenville Estates regularly monitors usage, so usually they are able to identify large issues prior to the billing cycle.

The board will also be discussing whether to move to quarterly billing when it holds its public hearing on the town-wide sewer rate next month.

The change in rate for Greenville Estates will be effective as of the second billing this year.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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