Marion Selectmen approve water and sewer rate increases

Jun 20, 2018

The Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday to approve hikes in water and sewer fees for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1.

Sewer and water rates are based on a three-tier system correlated to usage, and households that fall within the highest use tier will see the biggest rate increases.

Marion Finance Director Judy Mooney said that single-person households and people with fixed incomes typically fall under “tier one,” households with about 2.5 people typically fall under “tier two” and larger family households and those with irrigation systems typically fall under “tier three.”

All Marion households will see a one percent increase on their water bills, and households in tier three will be hit with a 2.5 percent increase.

The increased rates for the town’s sewer system are loftier. Tier one households will see a three percent rise in sewer rates, while tear two and three households will be charged an additional 10 percent.

The water and sewer rate increases will cost tier one residents about $28 more than this year’s rates, Moody said. Water and sewer rates for tier two residents will jump approximately $67 and tier three residents will pay about $253 more than this year.

Water and sewer rates in Marion have been rising steadily for several years now. Selectman John Waterman said that because of rising costs and existing debt, there’s not much the town can do to prevent rate increases.

“When it comes to managing expenses, there aren’t many expenses here that we can control,” Waterman said. “By any standard, a 10 percent increase is huge … but our hands are pretty tied.”

Moody said the rate increases are as low as possible to support the budget and that the town tried to minimize the impact on lower income and elderly residents.

“We wanted to structure the rates in a way that does the least amount of damage possible to people with fixed incomes,” Mooney said.