Milford Water Eyes 50 Percent Rate Increase

The Milford Water Company will appeal to the state Department of Public Utilities Tuesday for authorization to borrow $20 million for the new treatment plant. In the fall, the utility plans to seek a significant rate increase, possibly 50 percent.

Executives of the will seek permission from the state Department of Public Utilities Tuesday to borrow up to $20 million to build the new water treatment plant.

And to pay for this loan, by the fall, the utilty company plans to seek a significant rate increase — as much as 50 percent, according to a company response shared

"No clear rate adjustment has been calculated at this time, but based on the projected costs of the new plant and the associated financing, the expected increase could be around 50 percent," the company response stated.

The response came following an information request filed by Moody, in which he asked, as part of the company's request to borrow the $20 million: "What will the impact be to customers, assuming the associated annual debt service costs are allowed to be passed on

The company did not provide dollar amounts associated with the increase.

In a letter to Milford selectmen, Moody said he intervened in the company's request for the $20 million loan, not to object, but to monitor the proceedings "with thought to the coming and inevitable petition for a further rate increase."

"That they will seek a significant increase is not a surprise," he wrote. " ... Water quality and capacity will be significantly improved for years to come. That is obviously a good thing. The other side of the coin, however, is that the significant additional costs will be passed on to the rate payers."

Construction of the new water treatment plant began this year and has progressed through the spring. s taking shape on the Dilla Street property of the Water Company, near the Milford Upper Charles trail.

The new plant, approved by state and local environmental authorities, will pump up to five million gallons a day, the same capacity as the existing water treatment plant, which dates to the 1970s, according to David Condrey, general manager. It will include state-of-the-art technology for purifying drinking water, and is anticipated to be operational in 2013.

In February, the water company awarded a contract for construction of the to the lowest bidder, R.H. White Construction. At that time, the private utility company also disclosed the construction would require a rate increase for customers, but did not specify the amount.

The winning bid was more than $1 million less than the next lowest bid, Condrey said, in February. The exact amount of the contract was not disclosed by the company. The bid range, Condrey said, was a low of $16.8 million to a high of $17.9 million.

The hearing on the request for the $20 million loan will begin at 10 a.m. in Boston, at the headquarters of the DPU.

Shuby May 08, 2012 at 07:26 PM
How is it that they have already started the work and now it comes up that oh by the way we need a 50% rate increase from our customers?
Maggie May 08, 2012 at 08:39 PM
no way!
arturofuente78 May 09, 2012 at 01:13 AM
A fifty percent increase is not too bad. I'll happily pay my fair share for the significantly improved water quality. I don't want Etheopian grade water in my town.
Andie May 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Is there an average water bill per month? I don't pay for water because I rent and it's included. We have stopped drinking town water since the ecoli breakout a couple years ago. I buy my water at Hannafords for .50 a gal and go thru 8 gals a week. 4.00 a wk for drinking water isn't bad. But I'm curious about the average bill per month that includes other usages besides consumption.
southpaw May 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM
I have a problem paying ANOTHER fair hike because this privately held company has been allowed to conduct their business with no accountability or transparency. The town should be asking to see a complete audit of their books to see where all their money has been spent, because it's obvious that they have never once planned for, or done any mantenance work on their tanks or facility to the point where they were in complete decay and our water was affected. Now, they need money from US to pay for it - OUTRAGEOUS!


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