By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – All that hand-washing is going to cost a little more if two ordinances up for a public hearing and adoption Thursday, Sept. 24 are approved.
The Board of Commissioners introduced Ordinances 2020-19 and 2020-20 at its Sept. 10 meeting that will raise water and sewer rates for Ventnor residents.
According to Chief Financial Officer Albert Stanley the water and sewer rates have not been raised for five years.
“The city requires the rates be reviewed every five years,” he said.
Due to the increased cost of operating the utility and new state regulations that require increased spending to maintain water and sewer systems, the city had to used $1 million in surplus funds last year to balance the utility budget.
Water fees will be increased to $240 for the annual fixed amount, up from $198; the variable rate to $1.15 per 1,000 gallons of usage, up from $1.07; and $1.40 per 1,000 gallons of usage for the months of June, July and August, up from $1.32.
Sewer fees will be increased to $260 for the annual fixed amount, up from $217; the variable rate to $4.70 per 1,000 gallons of usage, up from $4.51; and $5.70 per 1,000 gallons of usage for the months of June, July and August, up from $5.54.
The average rate payer using 66,000 gallons of water a year would pay an additional $80.39 a year for utilities. The average family of four currently pays $826 a year, which will increase to about $906 after the new rates are adopted.
“We are still lower than Margate and Brigantine,” he said.
Residents are billed on a quarterly basis for the prior three months usage. The next bill is due Dec. 1.
The public hearing will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24. Meetings are held in person at Ventnor City Hall with social distancing protocols, or via the Zoom online meeting platform.
In a somewhat related issue, officials announced that parking would be restricted on Dorset Avenue from Monmouth to Calvert Avenue to accommodate reconstruction of the roadway following the emergency repair of a sewer main collapse last spring. There will be no parking allowed on both sides of Dorset Avenue starting Sept. 21 until the project is complete.
Although the repairs were made, residents and visitors endured a bumpy road all summer long. According to Commissioner Lance Landgraf, the roadway as a concrete base, which must be removed before it is repaved.
“It’s a several step process,” he said.
Arthur R. Henry was awarded a $597,800 contract in February to replace the sanitary sewer replacement, including laterals and repaving. The city held off the repaving portion of the project so Dorset Avenue, a main artery into the city, would be open during the summer season.
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