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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Town to Extend Sewer Use Payment Deadline

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Westport’s Board of Selectmen will meet next week to extend the payment deadline for sewer use charges.

A legal notice published today said the board, acting in its capacity as the Water Pollution Control Authority, will hold a special public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 4:15 p.m. in Rooms 309/307 of the Westport Town Hall to extend the due date from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1.

Without the extension, users would have incurred an interest penalty of 1.5 percent a month for payments made after Oct. 1

This is the first year the town has switched to charging users based on the amount of water used instead of the same charge for everyone. As a result about half of sewer users saw a decline in their annual bills while some reported more than a 200 percent increase.

 

The board met last week (see WestportNow Sept. 15, 2010) to review the charges. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he would consult with the town attorney to see if the payment deadline could be extended.

“What this means is that residents now have until the end of October to pay the bills without incurring a penalty,” Joseloff said today. “We hope this eases the burden for those faced with an unanticipated large increase.”

He said the town was looking into switching to semi-annual or quarterly payments for sewer use charges beginning next year.

Posted 09/22/10 at 08:32 PM

Comments

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My sewer usage bill nearly doubled this year. Something tells me that those people who saw a decrease in their bills did not save much, since the minimum bill now is $250.
Why are we paying so much more just because the town upgraded our plant? Shouldn’t newer technology lead to lower instead of higher usage charges?
Someone messed up perhaps?
I’m thinking it might be cheaper in the long run to have a septic tank installed:)

Posted by Lori Franklin on September 22, 2010 at 09:20 PM | #
 

It was very poorly handled and implemented. To sneak up and change it so quickly without very much warning or explanation to residents is very unfortunate. Especially considering the dramatic increases people are seeing in their bills.

Posted by Billy Nistico on September 23, 2010 at 12:00 AM | #
 

I agree with Lori 100%. My sewer usage bill also nearly doubled this year. Although some people prefer city sewer over septic, cleaning a septic tank every two years has now become a heckuva lot cheaper than paying a $700 sewer usage bill every year. Not to mention that the doubling in fees is occurring at a time when many people have lost their jobs or are earning less than what they made last year when the usage fees were lower.

Posted by David Kinyon on September 23, 2010 at 12:18 AM | #
 

I agree with Billy 100%, too!

Posted by David Kinyon on September 23, 2010 at 12:29 AM | #
 

I called Acquarion and was told that the current water rate with an increase over last year is now $3.77 per unit of water delivered to a home (and it was $3.37 during the time period of the taxing). The Westport tax rate is $5.87 per unit on that same water. The tax on the water is higher than the price of the water.

Taxing outgoing water based on incoming water use as billed by Acquarion seems fair enough. However, the tax rate of $5.87 per unit is simply too extreme a tax rate. The rate is causing some households to incur 100+% sewer tax increases on what Acquarion confirms as “normal water use.”

One hundred percent tax increases are certainly beyond what is reasonable and customary. I would like the town to lower the tax rate to a more reasonable amount.

Posted by Deborah Hogan on September 23, 2010 at 02:44 PM | #
 

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