PWSA Votes On Budget, Includes Multi-Year Rate Increase For Customers

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has released its 2018 budget and rate plan, and if you’re a customer, you can expect your rates to go up by double digits in the coming months.

KDKA has told you about the problems – crumbling water mains and pipes, high levels of lead and a lack of qualified employees.

Now hold on to your wallet because the bill to fix it, starting with a 28 percent increase on Jan. 1, increasing your average bill by $15 a month, is on its way.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “That’s a pretty hefty increase.”

“Well, we’re still well under the charges by Pennsylvania American’s current rate,” said Robert Weimar, PWSA’s interim executive director.

But while the rate may be less than neighboring systems, it doesn’t stop there.

In 2019 and 2020, it’ll go up another 10, and then another 11 percent. That means the monthly bill will increase another $7 a month and then another $9 a month.

Lisa Washington’s Report:

Somewhat surprisingly, people protesting the PWSA says they’re okay with the rate hike. The group says the increases are needed to fix an aging and broken water system.

The protestors praised the PWSA for implementing a low-income consumer assistance program and a moratorium on water shut-off.

Instead, they were no hand to implore a Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee not to turn the water system over to private hands.

“Making sure that PWSA remains accountable to the people of Pittsburgh, ot shareholders, not investors, but the people,” said one protester.

No matter the solution public, private or a combination of both, it all comes down to money. Billions of dollars over the next two decades, and come Jan. 1, you’ll begin picking up the tab.

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