December 2017

Special Announcement

Climate Change Preparedness Workshop

We are honored to announce that Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator under President Obama, and a leading advocate for climate change preparedness, has accepted our invitation to provide the keynote address at our workshop to be held on June 15, 2018, at Boston College.

In the meantime, we are working to assemble experts to participate in our discussions, and are excited that William Golden, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure, has also accepted our invitation.

We will continue to update our list of participants as the date gets closer. Please mark your calendar and save June 15, 2018, from 9-1 for our workshop!

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Proposed FY19 CIP

MWRA Proposes $1.2 Billion Spending Cap

At its meeting on December 20, 2017, the MWRA Board of Directors voted to transmit the proposed FY19 CIP and Proposed FY19-23 Capital Spending Cap to the Advisory Board for its no less than 60-day review and comment period.

Total MWRA spending for FY19 is proposed at $207.2 million, but the big news is the five-year capital spending cap from FY19-23, which is proposed at $1.2 billion. When briefed by Advisory Board staff, the Executive Committee had a healthy discussion about the cap. In particular, the Executive Committee raised questions about the size of the proposed cap, which once again tops $1 billion, compared to the more modest $800 million cap for the FY14-18 period. Staff will be focusing on the projects and proposed spending that make up this five-year cap and will be reporting to the Advisory Board throughout the review process. The Advisory Board will make its formal recommendations in May 2018.

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Retail Rate Survey

2017 Version Complete!

Rate Survey

There is no better way to ring in the New Year than by reviewing the water and sewer rates from this year. The 2017 Advisory Board Water and Sewer Retail Rate Survey is here! The 2017 document highlights a 2.2% increase from the prior year for the average annual cost of water and sewer services for a household in the MWRA service area at the industry standard usage of 120 HCF (90,000 gallons); the average cost in 2017 being $1,558.47.

You’ll notice some new additions to the document this year. The 2017 survey features an additional 60 pages dedicated to the long-term rate trends of the MWRA communities. In addition to the detailed 2017 information regularly found in the survey, ratepayers can now see how rates have evolved in their communities over the past couple of decades.

The rate survey data is no longer limited to the annual document either. Be sure to also check out the Retail Rate Calculator on the Advisory Board website as well. Here, ratepayers can estimate household water and sewer costs for MWRA communities at any level of water usage.

Be on the lookout for a thumb drive with a copy of this survey in the mail very soon.

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Upcoming Advisory Board Meeting

January 18, 2018

The Advisory Board next meets on January 18, 2018, in Canton. Jonathan Yeo, Director of Water Supply Protection, will be present to provide us with his annual update on watershed operations. MWRA ratepapers provide 100% of the over $25 million in funding to ensure our communities receive the best drinking water possible. This starts in the watershed.

One of the ideas that emerged from the December Executive Committee meeting was initiating a “talk back” segment at the Advisory Board meetings to allow members an opportunity to share with us and each other their perspectives. This month’s topic is: what is your philosophy about (or approach to) setting retail rates in your community? How does the MWRA assessment fit into your budget?

In the coming weeks, staff will be sending out an anonymous survey to help us develop topics of interest for future talk back sessions. We look forward to some engaging discussions in the new year!

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Upcoming Events

For the Month of January

January 12 | 8:30 AM, Executive Committee Meeting at AB Offices
January 17 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors Meeting in MWRA Board Room
January 18 | 11:30 AM, Advisory Board Meeting in Canton

Have a safe and happy New Year!

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Connect With Us!

MWRA Advisory Board | 617-788-2050 |  mwra.ab@mwraadvisoryboard.com