Breaking News: MWRA Advisory Board and MWRA Board of Directors Approve $100M Community Relief Package

Critical votes by the full Advisory Board on May 4th and by the MWRA Board of Directors on May 6th will lower the payments due by communities to MWRA for FY20, FY21, and FY22. The full press release is available here.

Communities will be receiving a joint letter (see example here) from MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey and MWRA Advisory Board Executive Director Joe Favaloro regarding the votes in the coming days. Here are the three components of the relief package:

  • Loan Program: This measure applies to the three Community Financial Assistance Programs (Local Water Pipeline, Lead Service Removal, and Inflow/Infiltration Loans). Communities will now have the option to restructure their payments due for FY20, FY21, and/or FY22. The goal is to provide flexibility to communities and rate relief in the short term.
  • Reductions to MWRA’s Proposed FY21 Current Expense Budget: A 1.0% increase in the rate revenue requirement was approved, down from the 3.63% increase proposed back in February. This 1.0% increase will help to mitigate the immediate economic stress due to the pandemic, but it still permits predictable and sustainable rates moving into the future. Final assessments for FY21 can be found here. In addition, communities can see how the lower rate revenue requirement along with the loan deferral option will impact their rates here.
  • Debt Service Assistance: Earlier this week, the MWRA received a portion of the $1.2 million Commonwealth Sewer Relief Fund in the sum of $891,533. In the past, these funds would be used to offset the next fiscal year’s assessment increase (the “pay it forward” strategy); however, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on our communities, the MWRA and MWRA Advisory Board decided to immediately utilize the DSA Funds to reduce FY20 assessments. DSA totals appropriated to communities can be found here. The Advisory Board wishes to thank Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, Majority Leader and MWRA Caucus Chairman Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, and the entire MWRA Legislative Caucus for their continued support of MWRA ratepayers.

Please see a letter to all members from Joe Favaloro expressing his thanks here.

Upcoming Meetings:

May 27 | Remote MWRA Board of Directors Meeting
June 12 | Remote Executive Committee Meeting
June 18 | Remote Advisory Board Meeting (with possible PFAS workshop)

News Release: MWRA and MWRA Advisory Board Approve $100M in Rate Relief

On May 6th, the MWRA Board of Directors voted to approve the MWRA Advisory Board recommendations of a 1.0% rate revenue increase for FY21 and a loan deferral proposal to provide relief for communities for FY20, FY21, and FY22 applying to community loan programs.

The combined measures save communities $100 million to mitigate the financial circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, $891,535 from debt service assistance that came in from the Commonwealth on May 5th will be applied to community assessments for this year. You can read the full MWRA news release here.

The Advisory Board is grateful to MWRA staff and the MWRA Board of Directors for their hard work and cooperation during these unprecedented circumstances.