November 16, 2018

State Legislators Alert Residents To MDC Rate Hikes

State legislators are urging residents in the Greater Hartford area who buy their water from the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) to turn out at two upcoming MDC meetings and let their voices be heard regarding two enormous, proposed MDC rate hikes.

State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), Sen.-elect Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), state Rep. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford), Rep.-elect Gary Turco (D-Newington), and Rep.-elect Kerry Wood (D-Rocky Hill) are urging MDC customers to attend an MDC public hearing this Monday, November 19, at 5 p.m. at the MDC headquarters at 555 Main St. in Hartford, and to attend another MDC public hearing on Wednesday, November 28 at 5 p.m. at the same location.

The MDC’s Board of Commissioners is expected to adopt its 2019 budget on December 10; the proposed MDC budget includes a 13.2 percent spending increase coupled with an average water bill increase of $6.73 a month and a $6.75 million, 15 percent increase in the ‘ad valorem’ fee, which is an extra water company fee on local property taxes.

If approved as proposed, homeowners could see up to an 11 percent increase in their water and sewer bills next year, with an additional 1 to 4 percent increase in their property taxes, depending on where they live.

According to the MDC, the average, residential MDC customer pays $58.73 a month for 4,360 gallons of water; that monthly bill would rise to $65.16 a month under the MDC plan. Also, the average MDC sewer ad valorem would rise from $215 to $236.

The MDC serves eight member towns: Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor.

“These proposed rate hikes will make the MDC the most expensive water company in Connecticut” Sen. Bye said. “People are already upset with the history of the past five years of MDC rate hikes; I heard about it constantly as I was going door-to-door during the recent election. The MDC’s proposal is too much. They need to tighten their belts. They need to find savings.”

“While I understand the need to invest in clean water infrastructure, I’ve been hearing from a lot of area residents and senior citizens who are concerned about the scale of these proposed increases,” Sen.-elect Lesser said. “These increases could have a major impact on area residents, particularly seniors and others living on fixed incomes. I think it’s important that the MDC hear from area residents about what impact increases on this scale would have on them.”

“The MDC wants to lower rates for large water users—like bottled water plants—while increasing rates for everyone else,” said Rep. Slap. “This proposal is outrageous and I urge all consumers who are upset about it to join us Monday for the public hearing. I am heartened that our independent MDC consumer advocate, a position that Senator Bye and I helped to create in 2017, is lending his voice to this effort.”

“Any rate increase when we are working to reduce the cost of living for residents is extremely concerning,” said Rep.-elect Turco. “I want to make sure there is full transparency to the public by the MDC on the proposed increase and that it’s appropriate and justified at this time.”

“It’s important for MDC customers to attend these public hearings, learn about future price increases, and voice their concerns,” said Rep.-elect Wood.