WSSC Proposes Rate Hike, Feb. 5 Public Hearing
The $1.3 billion preliminary proposed budget includes a combined average rate increase of 6% in water and sewer rates, which meets the Spending Affordability Guidelines adopted by the two counties in fall 2013. The increase will help the Commission achieve its strategic objectives, especially in respect to aging infrastructure, while balancing the financial concerns of customers.
The rate increase would add approximately $4.47 per month to the bill of a customer who uses 160 gallons of water per day. WSSC residential customers receive quarterly bills.
Highlights of the preliminary proposed FY’15 budget include:
· Funding of $26 million for the large diameter Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP) program to provide inspections of the PCCP and monitoring to detect weaknesses. This includes funding to establish a program to inspect, repair and replace large valves.
· Replacement of 55 miles, and repair or relining of 5 miles of smaller mains, house connections and large meters and vaults. (That’s about the length of the Capital Beltway.)
· More than $114 million in sewer rehabilitation in environmentally sensitive areas.
· Scheduled design and construction of 59 capital projects generating or sustaining an estimated 4,200 local construction jobs.
A copy of the preliminary proposed budget can be found on WSSC’s website . To request an alternative method of obtaining a copy, please call 301.206.8100.
“Fiscal responsibility is of utmost importance to WSSC, as we fulfill our mission of providing safe, clean and reliable water and other services,” said Jerry N. Johnson, WSSC’s General Manager/CEO. “We are committed to replacing our aging infrastructure while being mindful of affordability for our customers. I am confident this budget proposal achieves that balance. As always the process includes consultations with the counties and our customers.”
According to Maryland Law, the Commission must submit a budget to the County Executives of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties by March 1, 2014. In an effort to solicit feedback on the proposed budget before transmittal, WSSC is convening two public hearings in February. After WSSC submits its proposed budget, the Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils must approve the final budget no later than June 1, 2014. The budget will become effective on July 1, 2014.
Two Public hearings are scheduled:
Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Stella B. Werner Building
7th Floor Council Hearing Room
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Thursday February 6, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Prince George’s County RMS Building
1400 McCormick Drive
Largo, MD 20774
Those who wish to speak at either of the hearing should contact WSSC’s Budget Group at 301.206.8110 prior to the hearing dates. The public hearing record will remain open through Feb. 18th. Those who wish to submit a written statement for inclusion in the record of the hearing should email the statement to BudgetGroup@wsscwater.com or send it to Letitia Carolina-Powell, Acting Budget Group Leader, WSSC, 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707.