No Increase in Water Rate for Bar Harbor Residents and Businesses
Good news for Bar Harbor residents and businesses! At the Tuesday, October 6th Town Council Meeting, the Council approved the Bar Harbor Water Department's budget that called for no rate increase for the 5th year in a row.
Highlights from the Budget presentation
There are 1786 metered customers, of which 71%, or 1259 accounts, are classified as Residential. 25% of these total metered customers as well as 22% of the related revenue volume are seasonal customers, but all customers generally receive their bills quarterly. There are 97 customers related to non-metered sprinkler and private hydrant fire protection.
A minimum quarterly bill currently under this budget allowing 1200 cubic feet through a 5/8” meter of $76.17 per quarter will remain at that level. Bar Harbor’s typical quarterly average household charge for 2000 cubic feet currently is $111.53, still below the average rate of $114.84 for 15 selected comparable communities.
The utility maintains 106 public fire hydrants in the downtown area out to Hulls Cove
There were no water quality violations in calendar 2019. Due to the continued exceptional water quality of Bar Harbor's water source, the surrounding protection of the watershed, the water system has a filtration waiver. Under the State’s Safe Water Drinking Program, the water Division has both a type of chlorination and UV lighting to protect its supply. Fluoridation was added in 1964. Lime and CO2 treatment are also added for both PH control as well as pipe corrosion control.
Affect of COVID-19 on the Water District
Because of the short term local negative economic impact on both residents and businesses, the recommendation was made to hold off a recommended increase to cover the day to day operating expenses. This delay of at least a year, however, will not negatively impact the Water Division’s operations due to its healthy cash fund balance currently from previously deferred capital investment. Using the PUC rate case formula, shown elsewhere in this budget, that increase would be approximately 7%.