(HARTFORD, CT) – The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) voted to adopt the 2024 budget that included water and sewer rates at the December 4th meeting of the District Board. The budget setting process includes a series of public meetings as well as collaboration with the town managers and finance directors of the MDC’s eight member towns. The MDC provides two separate essential services, drinking water and wastewater collection and treatment. The MDC approved a $213.4 million water and sewer budget, a 4.3% increase from 2023 without raising the water rate or sewer tax.
For 2024, the Water Use Charge, based on volumetric usage, will remain at $3.80 per ccf (A ccf is equal to approximately 748 gallons of water). The Water Customer Service Charge, a fixed monthly charge of $14.98, will stay flat for the sixth straight year. In addition, the Sewer Customer Service charge will remain at $9 per month for the third straight year. The MDC’s water rate remains the lowest for any similarly sized water provider in Connecticut.
The Clean Water Project Charge (CWP), also based on volume, will increase from $4.25 per ccf to $4.33 per ccf, an increase of 8 cents after originally being scheduled to be 18 cents. The CWP Charge is solely to pay for the principal and interest on bonds and loans issued to finance the Clean Water Project, the major sewer infrastructure capital improvement project mandated by the federal and state governments for the eight member towns that have water and sewer service. For a customer that uses 100 ccf of water in a year, this amounts to approximately a $0.66 (cents) a month increase for a 2024 water bill or $8 for the entire year. However, a typical water bill will still be less than it was in 2022.
AD VALOREM / SEWER
The majority of the MDC’s standard sewer operations are funded by an ad valorem tax, a direct bill to the each of the MDC’s eight member towns that is recovered as part of municipal property taxes. For the third time in the last four years, the ad valorem tax will have zero overall increase.
CEO Scott Jellison stated, “MDC rates remain among the best value for any utility in Connecticut. Holding the water rate to zero increase after significantly lowering it last year, demonstrates the ability of our staff to continue to provide affordable, high quality service. As a result, our customers are still paying less than they were two years ago. We were also able to begin planning for the major upgrades needed as part our water master plan by establishing a rate stabilization fund.”
“We worked diligently with our leadership and regulators to mitigate a potentially larger increase to the Clean Water Project Charge by securing state grants as part of our Integrated Plan projects. Credit goes to our board, staff and regulators for their collaborative effort on how to best provide a benefit to our customers while continuing to make the necessary investments to our wastewater infrastructure at an affordable rate.”