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2019 ECWA budget includes 'modest' rate hike

Erie County Water Authority

The Erie County Water Authority has approved a budget for 2019 that includes a "modest" water rate increase and $41.3 million worth of system-wide infrastructure upgrades.

The ECWA said beginnning Jan. 1, the average customer will pay another $4.80 a year for water, which will help pay for "the largest investment in the utility’s history."

“This is a fiscally responsible budget with a modest rate increase that is directly in line with our financial model and our professional rate consultant’s recommended 2016 rate restructuring plan,” said ECWA Chairman Jerome Schad. “Our new rate structure now more fairly and equitably distributes fixed operational and infrastructure costs among ECWA’s large and small meter customers and provides a continual revenue source for the most significant infrastructure investment program in ECWA history.”

Schad said this budget will include:

  • $25.5 million for new water mains
  • $5 million for a new electrical substation at the Ball Pump Station, which supplies ECWA’s northern service territory
  • $2 million for upgrades at the Sturgeon Point and Van De Water Treatment Plants
  • $2.5 million for new residential remote-read meters
  • $500,000 for security system enhancements at various facilities

This is all part of an overall $181 million, five-year infrastructure investment plan.

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