One Year After Turbines Water & Sewer Rates UP 24 %
Posted in the Fairhaven Forum
#1 Aug 21, 2013
By Ariel Wittenberg
August 21, 2013 12:00 AM
FAIRHAVEN — Residents are bracing for sewer and water bills to be issued in October that will be 24 percent higher than before.
The increase is the result of a finding last winter by the state's Department of Revenue that Fairhaven's general fund had been subsidizing the water and sewage departments to the tune of more than $400,000.
According to state law, the water and sewage departments are supposed to be self-sufficient, and each has its own fund to pay the expenses, such as system maintenance and payroll, among other things. But the Department of Public Works had not been paying for work done by town employees on its behalf, such as Water Department bills being printed through the town tax collector's office.
"These are the people who spend a fraction of their time in a given week doing work for the water and sewer departments, but those departments weren't paying for their salaries or retirement funds," Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch explained.
Board of Public Works Superintendent Vinny Furtado agreed, saying "We weren't paying our fair share."
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