LACONIA — According to the annual survey of water rates compiled by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, only four water system in the state charge less than the Laconia Water Works.
The annual water rate for a single-family home in the city is $220.30, less than half the average annual rate of $473.60 for the 103 water systems reported by the survey.
Seth Nuttelman, superintendent of the Laconia Water Works, said that the low rate reflects the abundant supply of water, the large customer base and significant investment in infrastructure. He explained that the most expansive water systems enjoy economies of scale and lower unit costs while regular investment ensures operating efficiencies.
Laconia Water Works last raised its rates in January 2012. Nuttelman said that because the rate of return has diminished, he has begun to consider another increase to ensure the system can fund the cost of its operations and invest in its infrastructure. He anticipated that any increase would be modest and rates would remain among the lowest in the state.
In the Lakes Region, only the Gunstock Acres Village Water District in Gilford, where the average annual rate is $400, and the Belmont Water Department, with an annual average rate $417.91, charge less than the state average.
The average annual rate is $533.28 in the Tilton-Northfield Water District, $612.46 in Meredith, $810 in Alton and $1,439.92 in the New Hampton Village Precinct, which is the highest rate reported in the survey.
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