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


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.

He continued that the water rate system increase would be nine percent, bringing the rate per hundred cubic feet of water used up 38 cents, specifically from $4.20 cents to $4.58.

Additionally, the sewer rate system increase is also nine percent, bringing the rate of $5.78 cents to $6.32 cents, per hundred cubic feet of water.

“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,” JC MUA Executive Director Jose Cunha said following a question from HCV.

” … 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.”

From there, 
Jersey City MUA Finance Director noted that the total budget is around $133 million.

Ryan Scerbo, of the law firm DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, said he could not immediately provide any more information on what the rate increases would mean per household, beyond what Enright had previously said.

Both rate increases passed by a vote of 4-1, with Board Vice Chair Jeannine Zampella voting no, while she switched her vote to yes for the vote on the entire budget (5-0).