Friday, July 3, 2015

Council approves bill to create independent water-rate setting board

So, there may soon be an independent board that will fix and regulate water rates and sewer services.

Council approves bill to create independent water-rate setting board

0 comments

So, there may soon be an independent board that will fix and regulate water rates and sewer services.

City Council approved today legislation sponsored by Council president Darrell Clarke that would create the independent board. Under Clarke’s proposal voters will be asked in November to approve an amendment to the Home Rule Charter to establish the rate-making body.

The bill passed 16-1, with Republican Councilman Denny O’Brien voting against it. It’s unclear whether Mayor Nutter will sign the bill into law as the Administration expressed concern about the measure during a recent hearing.

In February the Water Department announced plans to seek a 28.5 percent rate increase, that if approved would begin in October and spread over the course of three years. The average customer would see an $196 increase a year over today’s rate. The Water Department has said the increase is necessary to deal with a projected $316 million budget shortfall over the next four fiscal years.

Currently, a rate request must go through a public-hearing process and the Council president, the Mayor and the City Controller would select a hearing officer and a public advocate. The final decision to approve a rate is made by the Water Commissioner.

“I saw no level of transparency that I was comfortable with,” Clarke said. He has said that Philly is the only large city that does not allow elected officials or boards selected by elected officials approve the rates.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter