20 percent hike for water, sewer

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:47

    SUSSEX — Sussex Borough water and sewer customers will have to dig a little deeper to pay their quarterly bills beginning this fall. On June 16, the Sussex Borough Council approved a 20 percent rate hike for both water and sewer customers. The hike was approved by a vote of 4 to 1, with Councilman Jonathan Rose the lone dissenter. It marks an increase in the quarterly bill for users of up to 10,000 gallons of water from $100 to $120; quarterly wastewater costs will rise from $150 to $180. Kathy Mantell, the Sussex Borough auditor, presented three scenarios for possible rate hikes to the council at its meeting. She said each one was designed to help the borough to generate $1.624 million in annual revenues to cover its expenses. Those costs include a $150,000 increase in wastewater processing imposed by the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority. Meanwhile, approximately one-third of the utility’s costs go toward debt service payments. The utility currently has $6.8 million in debt, said Mantell. The rate hikes are scheduled to go into effect with the third quarter bills, which would be issued to customers sometime in early October, said Sussex Borough Clerk Catherine Gleason.