Jersey City MUA unanimously approves $133M budget with 9% water, sewer rate hikes

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The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority unanimously approved (5-0) a $133 million budget that includes a 9 percent rate hike for both their water and sewer rates.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“In simplest terms, the rates were determined so that the projected flow through water and sewerage systems to make revenue to meet the authorities projected financial needs for the current and future years: operating revenue, capital improvements, debt service requirements,” Dennis Enright, a principal at NW Financial, said at last night’s MUA meeting, which was convened on Zoom.

Enright added that the water rate system increase will increase $4.20 cents to $4.58 per hundred cubic feet of water, while the sewer rate will raise from $5.78 cents to $6.32 cents per hundred cubic feet of water.

The board did not provide any further clarity on what that would equate to on a resident’s tax bill.

Jersey City Finance Director John Folk told HCV that the total budget is $133 million, which also received a vote last night.

“The 2020 budget is also being amended and adopted. The reason why it took as long as it did is because … typically we would pass the budget somewhere between July and August, similar to the city,” explained MUA Executive Director Jose Cunha.

” … In this case, we were waiting because we knew we had to finalize the analysis on the sewer rates – that’s the main reason – so they’re being done together tonight.”

The vote on the budget was 4-1, with Vice Chair Jeannine Zampella voting no, with the water and sewer hikes both passing unanimously (5-0).