LACONIA — The Laconia Water Works seeks to raise its consumption rate by 40 cents, from $1.45 to $1.85, per hundred cubic feet (hcf) and will hold a public hearing on the proposed increase at the Water Treatment Plant at 117 Stark St., beginning at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13.
For a family of four using 25 hcf, or 18,700 gallons, per quarter, the proposed increase would add $40 to the annual water bill. which would rise from $225 to $265, which translates to 73 cents a day or $0.003 per gallon.
Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of the Laconia Water Works, said Tuesday that the increase, the first since the consumption rate was raised 30 cents in January 2012, is necessary because reflects operating and maintenance costs have risen steadily while the volume of water sold has fallen. He said that during the past 15 years the volume of water billed has diminished by an average of 1.5 percent a year with the installation of more efficient appliances. Measures to conserve water by reducing usage, Nuttelman said, have more than offset the addition of new customers.
Meanwhile, Nuttelman said that the department expects to undertake significant improvements to its infrastructure in the near future, including investments of $500,000 at Lakeside Avenue at The Weirs, $200,000 at Holman Street and $250,000 at Old North Main Street.
Nuttelman said the the Board of Water Commissioners propose to raise only the consumption rate, leaving the base rate of $20 per quarter unchanged. He noted that in 2015 the Laconia Water Works charged the fifth lowest rate among the 104 water systems in the state according to the Water Rate Survey by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and with the projected increase would bill the 13th lowest rate.
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