Monroe eyes water rate hike

    Monroe Town Council President Al Lehman unveiled a proposal for an average 18.5 percent increase in monthly water rates for the community at the council's November meeting held Thursday night.
    He proposed an amendment to the water rate ordinance and said it would be formally drawn up in time for a public hearing on the matter at the council's December 1 meeting.
    Lehman noted that the last water rate increase was approved in 2007 and, after the meeting, he added that the town's water department has lost money in seven of the past eight years.
    He stated that the increase is being sought to help pay for new state permits and fees that have been created in recent years and to help pay for maintenance of the water system.
    Lehman illustrated the potential monthly cost increases for water users this way:
    — For 1,000 gallons, $2.47 more per month would be charged.
    — For 5,000 gallons, $4.50 more per month.
    — For 10,000 gallons, $7.47 more per month.
    — For 20,000 gallons, $14.47 more per month.
    — For 200,000 gallons, $87.97 more per month.
    Lehman said an average home in Monroe uses 7,000 to 8,000 gallons of water in a month.