"This is a minimal increase," Public Works Director William McTygue told the council at the special Tuesday morning meeting, held one week after his brother, Commissioner of Public Works Thomas McTygue, tabled the vote on the increase. William McTygue pointed out that people can buy a liter of water at the local supermarket for a little over a dollar.
"That same dollar and change will get you 1,000 gallons of water in Saratoga Springs," he said.
The rate hike comes a year after water rates were raised 3 percent, and was needed to offset escalating employee and benefit costs amid static water sales, McTygue said.
"Income revenue is not matching the expense rate," he said.
The City Council also recon-figured how it bills for sewer service. City officials eliminated the $50.85 minimum quarterly charge for city sewer service and replaced it with a $20 flat-rate service charge in addition to a new rate based on usage.
Customers who now use 1,800 cubic feet of water or less for sewer in a quarter will actually save money from the previous $50.85 rate. But those who use more than that will face a 4 percent to 5 percent rate increase, the department said. The city serves about 7,850 sewer accounts. ""