Beginning January 1, customers will pay a rate of $3.29 per 1,000 gallons, which equates to an additional $1.20 per quarter or $4.80 per year for the average customer using 80,000 gallons annually. Water rate increases have averaged at or below the rate of inflation over the past 20 years, and ECWA's cost per 1,000 gallons is the second lowest among municipal water purveyors in Western New York.
"This is a fiscally responsible budget with a modest rate increase that is directly in line with our financial model and our professional rate consultant.s recommended 2016 rate restructuring plan," said ECWA Chairman Jerome Schad. "Our new rate structure now more fairly and equitably distributes fixed operational and infrastructure costs among ECWA's large and small meter customers and provides a continual revenue source for the most significant infrastructure investment program in ECWA history".
The 2019 budget includes $41.3 million for system-wide infrastructure upgrades, including:
- $25.5 million for new water distribution and transmission mains
- $5 million for a new electrical substation at the Ball Pump Station, which supplies ECWA.s northern service territory
- $2.6 million for technical system upgrades
- $2.5 million for new remote radio read residential water meters
- $2 million for upgrades at Sturgeon Point and Van De Water Treatment Plants
- $500,000 for security system enhancements at various facilities
These upgrades are part of an overall $181 million five-year infrastructure investment plan.
"This historic investment in ECWA's infrastructure will allow us to continue to improve system efficiencies and reliability, provide a product that is safe and of the highest quality, and maintain one of the lowest water rates in Western New York, all of which benefit our ratepayers who ultimately own and use the system," continued Schad.
The ECWA's 2019 budget takes effect January 1st.