A combination of higher fees from the Ocean County Utilities Authority, increased payroll and operating expenses as well as a reduction in revenues are behind a water and sewer rate increase, officials said at a rate hearing Monday night.
The Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority will raise rates by 3.9 percent overall, allowing the authority to collect an extra $1.3 million.
The increases are set to take effect April 1.
Chief Financial Officer Frank Planko said the agency, which provides water and sewerage services to Brick and sells water to several other municipalities, will operate under a $36.7 million budget this year.
With the rate increase, a resident who uses 15,000 gallons of water per quarter will see their bill rise from $197.01 to $204.80.
In addition to rising wage and operational costs, the BTMUA has suffered from a lack of revenue in recent years as the real estate development boom has leveled off. The authority expects less than 200 new connections next year, which will generate about $200,000 in revenue.
In the past, connection fees have generated as much as $2 million per year for the authority, officials said.
Residents may also be using water more conservatively, making it tougher to project revenue from ratepayers.
"As we see average use decreasing, which we do every year … I have to take that average use into consideration so I don't overestimate our revenue," said Planko.
~RATE TYPE 2012 2011 Base Charges $22.63 plus $3.62 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons $21.78 plus $3.48 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons Excess Charges $5.88 per 1,000 gallons for water usage in excess of 10,000 gallons per quarter. $5.66 per 1,000 gallons for water usage in excess of 10,000 gallons per quarter. Lawn/Sprinler Accounts $5.88 per 1,000 gallons, up to 18,000 gallons per quarter. In excess of 18,000 gallons per quarter, $7.27 per 1,000 gallons. $5.66 per 1,000 gallons, up to 18,000 gallons per quarter. In excess of 18,000 gallons per quarter, $7 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer Charges
$90.32 plus $1.75 for each 1,000 gallons of sewage generated up to 18,000 gallons quarterly.
Excess $6.75 per 1,000 gallons.
$86.93 plus $1.68 for each 1,000 gallons of sewage generated up to 18,000 gallons quarterly.
Excess $6.50 per 1,000 gallons.