Home Moorestown News Council eyes utility rate increases

Council eyes utility rate increases

The cost of water and sewer may soon be going up in Moorestown Township. At its Monday, Feb. 24, meeting, council introduced an ordinance that would raise water and sewer rates.

Currently, the average 18,000 gallon user pays $57.90 per quarter for water and $124 per quarter for sewer. Under the proposed rate increase, this same user would pay $76 per quarter for water and $133 per quarter for sewer.

Interim Township Manager Thomas Merchel said he compared Moorestown’s rates to other local municipalities and found that Moorestown’s were quite low by comparison. 

He said Evesham Township published a chart cross sectioning 27 local municipalities’ water and sewer rates with No. 27 clocking in at the lowest rates. As of now, Moorestown ranked 23rd for water and 14th for sewer. After the increase, Moorestown will rank 19th for water and 12th for sewer.

“Even with these increases, we’re still an extremely good buy for utilities,” Merchel said. 

Merchel outlined multiple reasons for the increase. He said the township has invested heavily into its water and infrastructure even adding extra treatments to ensure the township’s water quality.

“We are going to have some of the cleanest water around, but obviously there’s a cost to that,” Merchel said.

The township is currently allowed to pump around 900 million gallons from its own wells and around 300 million gallons from New Jersey American Water. Merchel said given a combination of conservation efforts and extremely wet weather, the township has been pumping less than a billion gallons, which poses yet another financial difficulty. 

“If you’re not selling your product, you’re not getting the revenues to support the budget,” Merchel said.

Merchel said his goal is to have the increase in place for the township’s second quarter billing period, which starts April 1. The ordinance will be up for second reading and a public hearing at council’s March 9 meeting.

In other news:

• Police Chief Lee Lieber recognized some of Moorestown’s finest. Lieber presented Ptl. Brain Poe, Ptl. Alex Humes and Ptl. Joel Mufalli with certificates for exemplary service to the community.

“While all of our officers work hard throughout the year to make Moorestown safer for our residents and visitors, these three officers are being recognized for their exemplary work in traffic safety and criminal law enforcement for 2019,” Lieber said.

This marked the third time that Mufalli received the distinction. 

Humes and Poe along with Ptl. Michael Toscani were recognized for life-saving efforts that took place in 2019. On Oct. 3, the three officers were dispatched to a residence for a victim in cardiac arrest. They performed CPR on the 60-year-old male victim until paramedics arrived. The local squad told Lieber that the officers’ actions played a key role in resuscitating the victim.

• The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall. 


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