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Utilities Authority Proposes 4 Percent Increase for Ratepayer

The Lacey Municipal Utilities Authority will hold their rate hike hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

 

The is anticipating a $13.32 increase for the ratepayer after they hold a rate hike hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The LMUA is not “self sufficient” and relies on the Ocean County Utilities Authority, Chairman Jim Knoeller said.

“They keep raising the rate,” Knoeller said. “We’re anticipating the rate to cover what the county charges to process the sewage.”

The LMUA provides a collection of wastewater which is then discharged to the OCUA and treated at the Central Plant in Bayville, said Richard Warren, Executive Director of the OCUA. The OCUA bills customers, such as the LMUA, based on the actual number of gallons discharged to the system.

When the Ocean County Utilities Authority raises their rate, which they have the last four years, the LMUA is forced to increase as well, Knoeller said.

In 2011, the OCUA’s bulk rate for all customers was $3,825 per million gallons, which represented a 2.5 percent increase from 2010. The 2012 rate will be $3,882 per million gallons, which reflects a 1.5 percent increase since 2011, Warren said.

“Not everyone is on public water or sewage so it will impact the ratepayer,” Knoeller said.

The OCUA’s charges only represent a portion of the LMUA’s total budget, Warren said.

The present rate for the LMUA is $83.17 per quarter. After the rate hike, ratepayers will pay $86.50 per quarter, Knoeller said. The increase would be $13.32 for the year.

“I don’t want to raise it at all,” Knoeller said. “We don’t really have any surplus any longer.”

The LMUA has a Rate Stabilization Fund of $4 million to offset increases, he said.

“We’re running out of that money,” he said. “We can’t be running in the red as a business.”

Currently the LMUA is “revenue neutral,” Knoeller said. They have enough in the account for the next three years.

But with two new wells on the horizon, the LMUA is expecting to generate revenue, he said.

“We’ll have excess capacity with the new wells,” he said.

Each well cost $1 million and a total of $2.5 million for treatment, he said. The main reason for installing two new wells was to maintain non-contaminate water and to offset increases.

Since the wells will provide more water than the township needs, the LMUA will look to sell water to neighboring townships, Knoeller said.

The rate hike hearing will take place at the LMUA on Route 9 next to Mrs. Walker’s Famous Ice Cream Parlour at 7 p.m. The public will have the opportunity to voice their concerns before the commissioner’s vote.

River City Rover December 02, 2011 at 06:28 PM
It's a rainy day fund and its really raining. Let's take from the surplus until the economy takes an upturn. Give the ratepayers a break; don't be like the Township Committee and School Board. The MUA has always looked out for its ratepayers and now is not the time to let them down. If there is surplus, use it!
laceys finest December 02, 2011 at 06:29 PM
so why do we have 12 Commissioners on the OCUA and guess who from Lacey is a commissioner does take the 5 k and Free benefits folks call Carl Block and the Freeholders office and LMUA and tell them NO
Tim O'Connor December 02, 2011 at 06:33 PM
It is time to have residents fight back. Every person in town needs to look at their water consumption. If you use a sprinler system or have a swimming pool, install a second meter. Currently the MUA has to pay the County for sewage processing of water going to fill swimming pools and water the lawns. Tie your sprinkler systems into the weather channel and let a computer regulate watering needs. If it rains, you do not have to water the lawn. Install water retention barrels onto the rain gutters on the house and use this captured water to water flowers and gardens. Assess if that lawn is worth the expense. We defiantly can do without the fertilizers! Back in the 60's the shore look of the gravel / stones came into existence to resolve the killing of the crabs and fish in the lagoons. Plant bushes in planters to eliminate lawns. Let's just get smart.
Al Dente December 02, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Forget the rain barrels, use the money from surplus and give the taxpayers a break. Tim you sound like a tree hugger from San Francisco....you some kind of liberal bean counter. You work for the environmental commission?
Al Dente December 02, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Where is Kurt Booth when you need him?
OccupyLacey December 02, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Hey Timmy, don't let Al get to you. We could camp out on the lawn in from of the MUA in tents and pack the next meeting. Why should the 1% who work and support all of us on welfare be able to raise our water rates? Hey, did you hear Obama is going to get us more jobs? Now who would want to work when you can collect unemployment, get food stamps and have all this time off. If he keeps talking like that he'll never get reelected. I wanna be dependent on Uncle Sam...he has deep pockets. Let the 1% pay more.
Tim O'Connor December 02, 2011 at 07:45 PM
I love the way comments vary from day to day. Yesterday, I was accused of being right wing. It may be hard to believe but there are some of us who are centrists! With a little conservation, we could probably cut our OCUA payment by 30%. That's how you get your tax break from the county. There are sprinkler systems that adjust how long the system runs in cooler temperatures and not run at all when it rains. That cuts back on water consumed, reducing the water bill and the second meter eliminates sending money to the county on fees to process sewage on water that does not go down the drain. The LTMUA offers a rebait for installing a smart sprinkler system.
FR Grown December 02, 2011 at 08:13 PM
How can anyone politician think about raising any tax or rate during these poor economic times? Has the LMUA looked into layoffs? What exactly do they do besideres read meters and hand out bills?
Tim O'Connor December 02, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Where do we go to get a copy of where they spend the money. What is there budget? How many employees? Our water bill is almost 25% of our municipal taxes.
Al Dente December 02, 2011 at 08:34 PM
They spend it on dinners at the Captain's Inn; dinners in Atlantic City; catered meals at the MUA building; cars & gas, commissioners salaries. Maybe they will give themselves healthcare benefits like the OCUA does. In today's economic decline, cut the fat, consider layoffs, give up your dinners and salaries, stop being fat cats.
Tim O'Connor December 02, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Tim O'Connor 2:45pm on Friday, December 2, 2011 I love the way comments vary from day to day. Yesterday, I was accused of being right wing. It may be hard to believe but there are some of us who are centrists! With a little conservation, we could probably cut our OCUA payment by 30%. That's how you get your tax break from the county. There are sprinkler systems that adjust how long the system runs in cooler temperatures and not run at all when it rains. That cuts back on water consumed, reducing the water bill and the second meter eliminates sending money to the county on fees to process sewage on water that does not go down the drain. The LTMUA offers a rebait for installing a smart sprinkler system. Repost of deleted comment
Richard Warren December 02, 2011 at 10:20 PM
FYI. The LMUA pays the OCUA an Annual Charge based on the gallons of wastewater discharged to the OCUA system. Metered water consumption does not factor into the billing at all.
patricia doyle December 03, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Tim - Agreed. And let's not forget the use of "native" perennials to enhance our landscaping. Use low maintenance, drought tolerant plants instead of high maintenance landscaping. My yard is all native perennial beds with pea gravel, and reclaimed brick for patios and to trim the beds. The result is spectacular, and is so much better for the environment (and easier on the water bill). If interested, contact the Master Gardener Program in Toms River and they can refer you to a certified master gardener who can help you with the design work. It is well worth it!
patricia doyle December 03, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Dear "Al": I agree with both of you. Dipping into surplus may be necessary at times, bit what Tim is saying, and I agree with, is that before we take that step, we should all do our part to keep costs down. I know Tim. He is not a "tree hugger" and nether am I. We are both centrists. The environment IS important and so is fiscal responsiblity. Again, the key words are that everyone needs to take responsibility.
Dennis December 03, 2011 at 03:37 PM
The County of Ocean is extremely expensive. Its time to change the management. Unfortunately, the opposition is very weak and chances of that happening are nil. Maybe its time for the 99 per-centers to become active here.
patricia doyle December 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Dennis - We had a great candidate this past year, Gary Vaccaro. I agree with you that the opposition did not get its base out, and must reinvent itself to bring voters back into the fold. But, voter apathy was rampant this year, so if you do not like the way this town is currently being managed, we only have ourselves to blame. We need to engage as citizens, learn more about how this town is really run, and exercise an INFORMED vote on Election Day. It can be done.
original piney owe December 03, 2011 at 09:20 PM
when i went to vote I thought it was night of the living dead part 2 way too many red necks and folks who owe the republicon machine
original piney owe December 03, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Did you know there are 12 Commissioners at the OCUA 1/2 of whom STILL receive the 5 k AND FREE BENEFITS wanna guess who is still taking? right Mr Parker call Carl Block and the Freeholders office !
mike December 03, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Lacey is lucky, I live in Bayville and we have been paying $86 a quarter for years.
JOHNNY Done it December 05, 2011 at 02:05 AM
REPLACE THE COMMISSIONERS AT OCUA THEN CUT THERE BENNYS iTS NOT A FULL TIME POSITION .THEY SHOULD NOT BE GETTING FULL TIME PERKS...
Silver dollar December 08, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Glad to see all 2 people show wp for the LMUA meeting . New rate effective Jan 1st 2012 . Merry Christmas .Vote all for none against .
Grime December 08, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Sounds like a back door TAX increase!
tired of being fleeced December 08, 2011 at 02:25 PM
thats what you get when you vote republicon and you expect things to change it aint gonna happen \ why because they are hypocrites they say they are against big govt while most of their familes are employed by the govt just wait until Gary and the other to "conservatives" want to exceed Gov Fat Boys 2 % cap

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