Bridgewater Utility Rates May Increase

Town’s Proposed Budget Calls For No Hike In Taxes

Posted: April 25, 2014

BRIDGEWATER — Bridgewater’s budget for the next fiscal year, proposed at $7.68 million, would not raise taxes, but does call for a 1.5 percent increase in utility fees.

Town Council will consider approving the budget and authorizing the spending at its May 13 meeting. The budget must be approved before the start of fiscal 2015, which begins July 1.

“The coming year’s budget is basically the same as last year’s, except slightly smaller,” said Bob Holton, town superintendent.

The proposal is about $190,000 less than the current budget, a difference of about 2.5 percent, which is in part due to most of the expense to install a new water tank being covered in the 2014 budget.

The utility fee increase would mean a customer using 5,000 gallons per month would pay an additional $1.10 per month. Minimum users, consuming 1,000 gallons or less, will see an increase of 58 cents per month.

Under the current rate, homeowners using 5,000 gallons pay $78.55 and those using 1,000 gallons or less pay $39.87.

The proposal includes funds to allow for up to a 2.5 percent pay raise for employees based on merit.

During a public hearing Tuesday night at the Bridgewater Community Center, resident John Miller voiced his support for the pay raise for town employees.

“Keep the good people, pay them properly, and you will always have the good heart of Bridgewater that is going to be taken care of,” Miller said.

The budget permits spending of up to $150,000 to replace aging water and sewer lines. Also, $35,000 — or $5,000 more than the current year — will go toward parks and recreation.

The proposed budget allocates $200,000 for streets paving, but some of those funds could be used for snow and ice removal, said Holton.

Council voted unanimously during Tuesday night’s meeting to keep the real estate tax rate at 9 cents per $100 of assessed value, and the personal property tax rate at 75 cents per $100 of assessed value.

 “You should see no increase in your tax bill,” Holton said.

Contact Jonathon Shacat at 574-6286 or jshacat@dnronline.com



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