Berwick boosting sewer rates

Nancy Kelly
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At their June 10 meetings, town councillors in Berwick gave final approval to the 2014-15 budget, which includes an across-the-board hike in sewer service rates.

Sewer rates will rise on average of 16 per cent

The new rate for a single-family dwelling will be $116.40, up from $99.66 in the previous fiscal year. The base cost for commercial customers will be $152.90, up from last year’s rate of $130.91.

Finance director Greg Towne said the increase reflects higher costs for “power, treatment and testing,” associated with compliance with environmental regulations.

One year ago Berwick amended its sanitary sewer rates by replacing a formula based on tax assessment with a system of fees that are aligned with property usage.  There are now 29 service categories in the town’s revised sewer bylaw with fees that reflect each property’s cost related to maintaining the system.

Fees charged to Berwick’s main industrial customer, Eden Valley Farms, are based on effluent and usage. Towne says the poultry processor is currently footing two-thirds of the cost of operating Berwick’s wastewater plant.

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