Water rate increase a slow drip


WESTBROOK – City residents can expect to pay a little more for their water this spring. Effective May 1, Portland Water District will be increasing water rates by 3.7 percent in part to increase revenue for improvement projects and to fund new positions and software.

The increase will raise close to $844,750 in revenue. The bulk of the new revenue will come from increased residential water customers ($459,983) and commercial water customers ($172,582). The remaining $212,194 in revenue will come from industrial, government, public fire and private fire customers.

The increase will add an additional 71 cents to the typical residential water bill. Water rates were last changed in spring 2017 when they were raised by 1 percent.

“We continue t0 invest $7 million a year in water main improvement, which is a big component, as well as new positions mostly centered around improving customer service,” said Michelle Clements, public relations and information director for Portland Water District. “We are implementing new customer information system software and are looking to improve our development office.”

A public hearing on the increase will take place March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jeff P. Nixon Development Center at 225 Douglass Street in Portland.

“We encourage all customers to come out with questions and comments. The trustees will be reviewing all information about the rate increase,” Clements said.