Goal: To provide MWRA water to new communities/entities in need of high quality water while offsetting cost for existing MWRA water system customers.
This May 2017 installment of News and Notes highlights the Advisory Board’s recommendation for a 3.19% rate increase for FY18, down from the Authority’s 3.79% recommendation.
“The US is funding just one-third of its water infrastructure needs.”
That’s just one of the many significant findings described in the new report from the Value of Water Campaign.
Last week, the Advisory Board presented information from a UMass Boston Collins Center Report, identifying the crucial relationship between water and sewer infrastructure and potential economic growth.
From NPDES permits strategies, rates moving forward, and a new approach to system expansion, the September 2016 Green Sheet lays out the Advisory Board’s FY17 challenges and priorities.
Last week, the Advisory Board presented information from a UMass Boston Collins Center Report, identifying the crucial relationship between water and sewer infrastructure and potential economic growth. read more
Each decade there is one construction project that sets the stage for decades to come – a generational decision the impacts and benefits of which are felt for the next 30 years or beyond. For the MWRA, these projects have included the Boston Harbor Cleanup, the Carroll Water Treatment Plant, and the MetroWest Tunnel. Today, the generational decision for the MWRA is how to best ensure potable drinking water for all of its cities and towns all of the time. The project that will accomplish this for Greater Boston is the MWRA’s Metropolitan Water Redundancy Project.
FY 2016 Q2 Goals
- Present and vote a policy for Direct Source Water rate to Operations Committee, Executive Committee, and full Advisory Board.
- Begin staff-to-staff discussions on Water Capacity Insurance methodology.
- Continue working with North Reading, Ashland, and SouthField on their efforts to join the MWRA water system.
- Executive Committee/Advisory Board voted approval of providing SouthField with MWRA water conditional upon all regulatory requirements.
- Agreed to present/answer questions about joining MWRA water system. at October North Reading’s Town Meeting
- Met with representatives of Reading and North Reading regarding receiving MWRA water.
- One staff-to-staff meeting to discuss information gathered to determine next steps for Direct Source water rate.
- Met with representatives of SouthField to discuss joining MWRA water system.
- Two staff-to-staff meetings to discuss parameters and information needed for Direct Source water rate calculation.
- Staff presented to the Board of Directors on various options to generate revenue for the water system, including creating a rate methodology for untreated or “Direct Source” water, and developing a Water Capacity Insurance program for non-member communities to provide MWRA water as a backup water supply.
- Worked with Ashland and Hingham to discuss next steps on joining the system.
- Approved Dedham/Westwood increased withdrawal amount.
- Met with North Reading.
- Voted to increase Dedham-Westwood Water District contract
- Met with Tri-Town and Secretary of Environmental Affairs Maeve Bartlett to review status of negotiations.
- MWRA Board of Directors voted to accept Advisory Board recommendations on entrance fees.
- Ashland Town Meeting failed to receive two-thirds majority to purchase MWRA water.
- Infrastructure Bill provides authorization for 50/50 match for entrance fees and principal-forgiveness for connection costs.
- Reaffirmed requirement for entrance fees.“
- May Green Sheet provides a history of the MWRA Waterworks System and explains Entrance Fee methodology.
- Voted emergency water connection for Ashland
- Voted emergency water connection for Hudson.
- Revisited entrance fees and developed new methodology.
Comments and Recommendations History
FY 2016 (printed June 2015)
- The Advisory Board recommends that the Authority convene a working group to develop an appropriate rate structure for Direct Source Water. Further that the recommendation of the working group be brought to the Operations Committee and full Advisory Board for a vote as a new admission policy for the MWRA. (Page 100; #28)
- The Advisory Board recommends that a working group be convened to discuss a methodology for structuring Water Capacity Insurance to be offered to non-member communities, including members of the Advisory Board, as well as staff from both MWRA and the Advisory Board. Further, that the recommendation of this working group be brought to the Operations Committee and full Advisory Board for a vote as a new admission policy for the MWRA. (Page 101; #29)
FY 2015 (printed May 2014)
- The Advisory Board recommends that the sunset provision on its proposed entrance fee payment schedule be extended one full year to June 30, 2015. (Page 86; #25)
FY 2013 (printed May 2012)
- That the MWRA participate with the Advisory Board on a formal study to quantify the local and regional economic benefits of system expansion. (Page 61; #23)
- Support legislation the Advisory Board intends to file seeking $100 million in state funds for the purposes of economic development to fund capital connection costs for new water service member communities. (Page 61; #24)
- Actively seek and pursue an exemption of 9 MGD from the regulatory review process to expedite waterworks system expansion. (Page 61; #25)
FY 2013 (March 2012 Advisory Board meeting vote)
- Recommend changing entrance fee repayment options to include:
- 25-year interest-free repayment period
- 3-year grace period
FY 2012 (printed May 2011)
- Explore financial incentives to attract new member communities to the waterworks system
including, but not limited to:
- Offering a 5-year grace period before payment
- Allowing a multi-year payment plan
- Waiving interest on said payment plan. (Page 70; #15)
FY 2011 (printed May 2010)
- Given the continuing trend for declining water use in the MWRA system since the most recent study was conducted, the Advisory Board recommends an updated evaluation of the safe yield for the tripartite capacity (withdrawals/releases/reserves). (Page 79; #14)
- Rename the entrance fee as the FAIR – Former Asset Investment Recovery – cost or charge to join the MWRA to focus the discussion around the true purpose of the entrance fee. (Page 80; #15)
- Do not fund the Hatchery Pipeline project until the first FAIR charge under the new streamlined system expansion process is received. (Page 80; #16)
FY 2010 (printed May 2009)
- The Authority estimates that every 1 million gallons per day sold to a new customer is estimated to yield $5.0 million in one-time entrance fee revenue. The Advisory Board will continue to press for a streamlining of the system expansion process, and continues to endorse the Authority’s efforts in this regard. (Page 51 – 52)