PUC Will Hear From Public on Providence Water Rate Hike Request

Jun 18, 2013

The public is invited to comment Tuesday on a proposed rate increase by the Providence Water Supply Board. Because Providence sells its water to other municipalities, the rate increase would affect residents in nearly 60 percent of the state.

It’s the first rate hike in four years, and for city residents it means a 24 percent increase. The water board says that’s an additional $6.00 for the average customer.

The Providence Water Supply Board wants to raise rates by 24 percent for city residents and 32 percent to wholesalers.
Credit file / RIPR

For the cities of Warwick and East Providence, and for the Kent County and Bristol County water authorities, rates would go up 32 percent.

Boyce Spinelli is the board’s general manager, he says most of the rate increase will pay for updating miles of rusty, old pipes.

“We want to make sure that when people open their tap the water quality they get is the same as it is when it leaves our plant,” said Spinelli. “And in order to do that, we have to upgrade or replace a lot of the water mains that we have, some of them dating back to the 1800’s.”

Tuesday night’s public hearing is at 6:00pm at the Providence Public Safety complex. It’s the second hearing before the Public Utilities Commission. Nobody showed up to speak at the first one two weeks ago.

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