RUTLAND — At a July 16 hearing, selectmen, acting in their capacity as water/sewer commissioners, approved a 55 percent increase in sewer rates at $10.66 per hundred cubic feet. The surcharge for Inflow and Infiltration will be $33.25 per quarter.
Water users will see a 10 percent increase in their billings.
Joseph Buckley, director of the Department of Public Works, said shortfalls in the sewer budget could jeopardize the state funding received by the town. In the past, this has been resolved at town meetings by using Sewer Enterprise Fund retained earnings, but these have dwindled in the past several years.
Buckley fast-tracked a water and sewer rate study that was commissioned by the previous town administrator and DPW director in order to better plan long-term operating costs and capital updates.
Selectmen, in their capacity as water/sewer commissioners, decided to cover the shortfall with retained earnings from the Water Enterprise Fund, which holds water billing receipts. Retained earnings are funds left after costs are paid. The board also planned to make capital improvements to water and sewer infrastructure using borrowed money. Updated rates were planned to fund this strategy.