Bay Ridge

Golden calling on residents to protest water rate hike

April 16, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
You’ll be paying more for your water usage, if a proposal from the New York City Water Board is adopted.

Residents will have even more reason to take short showers, water the plants less frequently and turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth in the morning. The city is planning to raise the water rates starting in July.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) said he’s outraged by the proposal by the New York City Water Board to increase rates by 3.24 percent and is calling on residents to speak out against the plan at an upcoming public hearing in  Brooklyn.

The public hearing will take place on Tuesday, April 28, at St. Francis College, Founders Hall, at 180 Remsen St., starting at 7 p.m.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection announced the proposed Fiscal Year ‘16 Water and Sewer Rate increase at a Water Board meeting on March 27.

“The Water Board needs to know that their thoughtless decisions and actions have negative financial consequences for the hardworking people of our city,” Golden said.

Golden, who called the water rate “a tax on hardworking people,” told the Brooklyn Eagle that he pays $300 to $400 every quarter.

Golden urged Brooklyn residents to attend the hearing at St. Francis College.

“The only chance we have to stop the NYC Water Board’s soaking of taxpayers is by attending the public hearing and expressing our outrage. The Water Board must hear from us before they approve any water rate increases that will contribute to the financial drowning of New Yorkers,” he said.

The city has opened a public comment period on the proposed water rate increase. If the proposed rate hike is approved, property owners will start seeing bigger water bills in July.

New York City Water Board establishes rates for water usage and distributes the collected revenues. In assessing water rates, the board takes into account the operating and capital needs of the city’s water system, protecting the watershed and regulatory requirements, according to the board’s website, www.nyc.gov/nycwaterboard.

Residents who are unable to attend the Brooklyn hearing can submit comment via e-mail to [email protected], or can attend hearings in other boroughs.

For an overview of the proposed hike, and a complete listing of the public hearings, visit
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwaterboard/html/public_notices/fy16_rate_public_hearings_notice.shtml.

NY1 News reported on March 28 that the water rate hike would be the lowest the city has instituted in 10 years and that the 3.24 percent increase is actually 34 percent lower than what had been expected. 

The DEP is also recommending a freeze on the minimum amount customers who use less than 100 gallons of water a day are charged, according to NY1 News.

But Golden said homeowners shouldn’t be happy that the proposed increase is only 3.24 percent.

“It’s still a hardship on people who are struggling. If the city raises it a little this year, are they going to make up for it next year with a bigger increase? They can’t keep raising it every year. It’s not acceptable,” he told the Eagle.

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