Jaffrey water rates down five-percent, sewer rates up five-percent

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:6PM

Jaffrey Selectmen have voted to reduce the town’s water rate by five-percent and increase the town’s sewer rate by the same. 

Selectmen met with DPW Director Randall Heglin and Vic Krea of the environmental engineering firm Wright-Pierce to discuss the water and sewer rates during their meeting on Monday evening.

The original proposal from Heglin called for a seven-percent reduction in the water rate, but Selectmen Frank Sterling advocated for a smaller decrease to account for future projects in town. 

“I don’t like maintaining the surplus we are maintaining,” said Heglin, of the about $1.5 million water fund surplus. “I have a hard time gaining money for the purpose of gaining money.”

Water and sewer increases have much to do with projected revenue, maintaining a solid undesignated fund balance – Heglin said a balance totaling one year of expenses is typically preferred – and current debts and future projects. 

Town Manager Jon Frederick said that the first 1,000 gallons of water will cost $11.36 under the new rate – which goes into effect on Jan. 1 – while each subsequent 100 gallons will cost $1.39. Sewer will now be $13.66 for the first thousand gallons and $1.81 for each subsequent 100 gallons. 

There was also discussion relative to the town’s largest water user, Millipore, using more water than originally agreed to. Heglin said Millipore’s wells aren’t currently working, which caused an increase from about 400,000 gallons per month to around two million gallons a month. 

Heglin said that he has spoken to Millipore and they have said they are looking into other options for water, as Heglin is unsure if the town can absorb that much water usage long term. 

“My comfort level isn’t quite there,” said Heglin. “We will have conversations on how to plan for the future and whether the town can supply them with water long term.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.