Springfield Water and Sewer Commission budget backed by large loans, 5.9% rate hike
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission’s new budget went into effect Thursday, helped by millions of dollars in federal and state funding for major capital improvements and a 5.9% rate hike for customers .
The rate hike was recently approved by the three-member panel following a public hearing, and would have been significantly higher without the low-interest loans from the federal and state governments, said Josh Schimmel, executive director of the commission.
The average homeowner’s bill for water and sewer services is estimated at $ 1,303.75 for fiscal 2022, reflecting an annual increase of $ 78, officials said.
The commission approved a total operating budget of $ 80.4 million for fiscal year 2022, including operations, maintenance and debt service, against the budget of $ 77.9 million for the ‘Previous exercice.
In addition, the commission approved a capital budget of $ 298 million that will be implemented on an accelerated five-year schedule.
Some $ 251 million in low-cost funding for water and sewerage projects has recently been awarded under the Federal Water Infrastructure Funding and Innovation Act, and the Fund renewable for drinking water and the state’s drinking water provided $ 46.7 million for the projects, Schimmel said.
The two sources of funds include large low-interest loans and some debt relief under the public program, and will save taxpayers $ 80 million over the next two to three decades, said officials.
Schimmel said the capital improvements are badly needed given the age and condition of the city’s water and sewer system.
The concerted effort of the commission and staff to secure the major, highly competitive, low interest loan funds has helped “sustain the unprecedented and inevitable amount of investment needed for our water supply and water system. ‘remediation,’ said Schimmel.
The residential water rate increased effective July 1, from $ 3.96 per 100 cubic feet to $ 4.19 per 100 cubic feet, an increase of 5.9%, the commission said. The residential sewer rate rose from $ 6.25 per 100 cubic feet to $ 6.62 per 100 cubic feet, also an increase of 5.9%. The increases will be reflected in invoices issued in August.
The commission said it continues to offer several financial assistance programs to help customers pay their water and sewer bills, including flexible payment plans and monthly discounts for elderly, disabled homeowners. and disabled veterans.