Council Approves Water, Sewer Rate Increases Without Comment

Haverhill City Councilor William H. Ryan motioned to approve the rate hike.

Haverhill city councilors raised no objections Tuesday night to the administration’s plans to raise water and sewer rates. Approval brings the total city budget to $193.6 million.

Two councilors were absent, but the remaining seven members unanimously approved new city water and wastewater rates. In the new fiscal year beginning today, it will cost water ratepayers $2.78 per hundred cubic feet, an increase of seven cents per unit. A steeper, 22-cent rate hike for wastewater service, increase is imposed on ratepayers. The sewer rate moves to $4.12 per hundred cubic feet—up from $3.90 during the last fiscal year.

Departing from a prior practice of counting water and sewer department budgets within the city’s overall budget, councilors separately approved two weeks ago a city and school budget of $176.1 million.

At the request of WHAV, outgoing city Finance Director Andrew Vanni recently explained the cost of operating city government and schools is $176.1 million, but an additional $9.4 million is necessary to operate the city’s sewers and related facilities and $8.1 million for water service. Property taxes, fees and state aid generally pay for city government while water and sewer ratepayers pay the costs of those services directly.

Councilor William H. Ryan motioned to approve the rate hike and received a second from Councilor William J. Macek. Councilors Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien and Colin F. LePage were absent.

4 thoughts on “Council Approves Water, Sewer Rate Increases Without Comment

  1. Keep electing these stooges people. In all seriousness WHY do people keep voting for these absolute incompetent morons?

    Good people, fresh faces run, and never get a chance – but the these ignorant fools (and I mean EVERY one of them) continue to vote to make Haverhill a place that is far too expensive to live.

    I will not support ANY incumbent at this point – these people are gutless – and the people who support them are clueless.

  2. I guess Haverhill no longer has two branches of government. I mean not one question or comment? Maybe they had a private briefing, but that would violate the state’s Open Meeting Law. The council simply rubber-stamps whatever the mayor wants. Perhaps, those two absent councilors stayed home because they can no longer stomach the subterfuge? Arthur Michitson, the late head of the Haverhill Taxpayer Association, must wonder what he did wrong in raising his son, the city council president?