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Posted on Fri. Mar. 07, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

New Haven to consider 42 percent hike in sewer rates

Will allow repairs without the cost of borrowing, mayor says

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It's been several years since New Haven residents have experienced a sewer-rate increase, but a big one could be coming.

City Council on Tuesday is expected to discuss a proposal for an increase of about 42 percent, according to Mayor Terry McDonald – an increase that would allow New Haven to cover higher rates for service from Fort Wayne's treatment plant and to upgrade pipes in older parts of town.

“Nobody likes increases, and this is a shocker, I know, but it's been six years,” McDonald said. The increase would allow New Haven to avoid the cost of borrowing through a “pay as you go” program of improvements, many of which would address the infiltration of water into the system through leaking pipes, adding to the city's treatment costs.

McDonald has been criticized by some political opponents in the past for large rate increases, some of which were connected to the $12 million project to separate the city's sanitary and storm sewers.

No vote will be taken on the proposed increase at Tuesday's meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 815 Lincoln Highway E.

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