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Water rates to increase after York Water Co. settlement

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
The York Water Company files a rate request with the state Public Utility Commission. (Amanda J. Cain)

York Water Co. reached a settlement in a rate case that will lead to an increase of about $1 per month for the average resident, President and CEO Jeffrey Hines announced on Friday, Jan. 18. 

The new rates are effective March 1. 

The settlement reached with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission at a Thursday, Jan. 17, meeting allows for an increase in base rates for water and wastewater customers, according to a York Water Co. release. 

The deal impacts about 68,000 water customers throughout York and Adams counties, according to the release. 

York Water Co. estimates the average residential water bill for customers using 4,001 gallons will increase from $42.81 per month to $43.93 per month. 

"Even with the increase, the cost of water service for our average customer is about one penny per gallon," Hines said in the release. 

The deal also impacts about 2,300 wastewater customers in Asbury Pointe subdivision, East Prospect borough and portions of Lower Windsor Township and West York borough. 

New rates include the benefit of reduced federal income taxes from the 2017 Tax Act; the lower taxes York Water Co. received in 2018 and the first two months of 2019 will be given back to customers over one year in the form of a 4.29 percent monthly credit, according to the release. 

"Due to the tax relief act, although our average residential water customer will see about a $1 per month increase over the long term, for the first year they'll actually see about an 80 cent per month decrease in their water bill," Hines said in the release. 

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The deal provides cost recovery for York Water Co., which will see an increase of about $3.65 million annually, according to the release.

York Water Co. can now invest to reinforce and replace 4 percent of water mains to reduce costs associated with breaks and improve service, Hines said in the release. 

York Water Co. also can invest in other projects to improve service, including replacing service lines, meters and hydrants; constructing an untreated water pumping station on Lake Redman; increasing water quality through upgrades; and expanding and improving water and wastewater treatment plants, Hines said.