New Water Rates & Rate Structure
At the September 9, 2014 meeting of the Water Commissioners, the Board voted to change to a quarterly billing cycle and to adjust the billing rate and structure to accomodate the switch from biannual to quarterly billing. The following rate structure will apply to all Lincoln Water Department customers.
Water Usage Rates
|| Cost per 1,000 Gallons in U.S. Dollars
|0 - 20,000 gallons||$4.06|
|20,001 - 40,000 gallons||$8.57|
|More than 40,001 gallons||$20.02|
The base rate of $4.06 per thousand gallons will apply to the first 20,000 gallons consumed during a three month billing cycle, the second tier rate of $8.57 will apply to consumption between 20,001 and 40,000 gallons, and the third tier rate of $20.02 for consumption above 40,001 gallons and for separately metered lawn irrigation systems. The quarterly meter fee (base fee) will decrease to $30 per billing cycle, regardless of the meter size.
As an enterprise fund, the department must balance its revenues and expenses annually, and this has become more difficult with wage and operating expenses increasing each year. Water conservation by Lincoln residents has also reduced revenues with no corresponding decrease in expenses. Initially, the decreasing revenues were offset by the tier system of charging residents for excess use above the guidelines, as suggested by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Management Act permit. The quarterly meter fee (base fee) is meant to recover a small part of the Department's fixed costs, which includes debt, meter reading & replacement, and billing which continue regardless of the water usage by the customer.
While the commissioners are sensitive to the current economic climate, we must maintain the financial health of the department and want to encourage residents to monitor their water consumption and take steps to limit their outdoor water use. These actions will both reduce water bills and help the town achieve compliance with the state’s water management requirements.
A copy of the notice that was mailed with the November, 2014 water bill can be read here.
If you have questions about this rate increase, please contact us at 781-259-8997.