The city is planning to hike the water usage rates and local politicians on both sides of the aisle are expressing concerns.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile and Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis both registered anger at public hearings held in front of the New York City Water Board last week.
“The proposed hike would translate to an average $52 per household annually,” the Daily Eagle reported Gentile telling the board at a Bensonhurst meeting. “You may hear the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] boast that this is the ‘lowest increase’ we’ve seen in years but ask just about any homeowner and they will tell you their water bills are much too high! In fact, overall water rates have skyrocketed since 2005! So the term ‘lowest increase’ is somewhat of an oxymoron.”
For a Staten Island hearing, Malliotakis submitted a written reaction which expressed her objections on grounds that New Yorkers simply cannot afford the rate increase.
“Here in New York, the cost of living is exorbitant. High taxes, skyrocketing fees and a lagging economy have made every penny precious for our families,” Malliotakis wrote, adding thatthe proposed rate increase was, “irresponsible, unconscionable, and simply unacceptable for our cash-strapped families and businesses.”
The proposed rate increase, which if approved would jump 5.6 percent and go into effect on July 1.