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Port Washington Water District Notifies Residents of Modest Rate Adjustment in 2018

The Port Washington Water District (PWWD) would like to notify its customers that a modest rate adjustment will be implemented beginning January 1, 2018. The additional revenue will help the District pay for past, current and future infrastructure projects needed to ensure the health and safety of the water supply while remaining under the 1.84 percent tax cap.

“The District works hard to provide its customers with the highest quality water at the lowest possible cost while ensuring unwavering compliance with all the federal, state and local regulations,” said PWWD Board of Commissioner Chairman David Brackett. “We are dedicated to improving efficiencies wherever possible and cutting costs whenever the opportunity exists. In fact, we have been able to hold water rates constant for the past two years, despite the increasing costs of energy, major infrastructure protection and water-quality testing.”

The rate adjustment means that the average homeowner within the District’s service territory will notice an increase of approximately $2.97 per month. Prior to imposing the rate increase, the District conducted a thorough review of the present water rate structure and property taxes with respect to the fiscal needs of the 2018 budget. The District’s 2018 expense budget will be $6,568,920. In order to remain within the 1.84 percent tax cap and maintain a high level of service and reliability in regards to the critical drinking water infrastructure, an increase to water rates was necessary.

“Even though we look for efficiencies and economies of scale in everything we do, the budget for the coming year requires the District to increase revenues slightly to offset the rising costs for infrastructure needs and plant operations,” said PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer. “Unfortunately, these needed infrastructure projects, maintaining our existing infrastructure components and purchasing chemicals for treatment are not cheap. But we hope our customers understand what these additional funds go to support: A safe and reliable drinking water system.”

Aside from the actual cost of purchasing equipment, materials and chemicals, debt service—which represents capital investment into the water system—will increase by $747,675 when compared to the 2017 budget. The increase in debt service is attributed to the following major capital projects that have been completed or are currently underway throughout the District since 2012:

  1. Installed a nitrate treatment facility at Well No. 4 to lower nitrate levels.
  2. Installed a packed tower aeration treatment system at Well No. 6 to treat the water for organic chemicals.
  3. New service lines, fire hydrants and over 4,000 feet of 8-inch water mains were installed in the Manhasset Isle area.
  4. Replaced approximately 4,500 feet of water main on Circle Drive.
  5. Rehabilitated Sandy Hollow Wells No. 1 and 2, Neulist Well No. 1, and Wells No. 7 and 11 to improve reliability and production.
  6. Installed new access hatches and vents on the Neulist underground storage tank.
  7. Made repairs to the Southport elevated water storage tank.
  8. Replaced the booster and transfer pumps at the Christopher Morley Park water treatment plant.
  9. Began construction of the new Beacon Hill water tower.

“Each one of these vital projects is needed to improve the reliability and resiliency of our aging infrastructure as well as address any concern about water quality,” said PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain. “Even with this significant amount of capital investment and improvements to our supply and distribution system, the District will be able remain within the 1.84 percent property tax cap established for 2017. However, water rates will need to be adjusted to provide an additional $515,000 in projected revenue to avoid piercing the tax cap.”

For more specific rate information, please visit the District’s website at www.pwwd.org. If you have additional questions about the rate adjustment, water quality, or anything else regarding your water service, please feel free to contact the District at 516-767-0171 or by email at info@pwwd.org.