The Quakertown Borough Council on Wednesday approved a $23.9 million budget for 2012 that includes water and sewer rate increases for borough residents.
According to the budget, water rates will increase by 18 percent and sewer rates will increase by 20 percent for those living within the borough. An estimate for the increases shows that residents will pay about $8 more per month. Rates for earned income taxes, real estate transfer taxes and local services taxes will remain steady in 2012.
Meanwhile, water customers who live outside the borough limits may see a water rate increase of up to nearly 115 percent beginning Jan. 29. The proposed increase, detailed in a notice on the borough’s website, requests an overall rate increase of $278,853 per year. It would be the first water rate hike for non-resident customers since 2004.
If the full amount is approved, residential customers outside of the borough would see the cost of 3,000 gallons of water jump from $13.50 to $28.98, a 114.7 percent increase. Commercial customers using 1,000 gallons would pay $23.20, up from $13.50, a total increase of 71.9 percent. Metered industrial customers using 35,000 gallons of water would pay $257.14 per month, up from $126, an increase of 104 percent. The increases would make non-resident rates proportional to resident water rates.
According to the notice, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which approves public utility rates, will examine the requested rate increase. PUC can prevent existing rates from changing while the request is being reviewed.
Full details of the borough’s request to the PUC, as well as information on how to challenge the proposed increase, are available on the borough’s website at www.quakertownborough.com. Customers may also contact the PUC directly at 1-800-692-7380, or 717-783-5187.