The Mohawk Valley Water Authority voted Monday night to approve a rate increase of 2.8%.

That means roughly an $.80 increase per month or a little over $9 a year.

At a nearly empty public hearing Monday night, Executive Director Pat Becher said the rate increase is needed to pay off water projects that were borrowed for and employee insurance policies, not because of an increase in water usage.

Becher said specifically, when Nano Utica begins using water, the rates paid by the Quad-C will bring in more revenue, and residents could see a decrease in rates.

The Water Board will also decide next month on whether the increase will apply to all consumption after January 1, or if each bill will be pro-rated so that water used before January 1, will be billed at the old rate.

Becher wants to remind water customers in the Utica area that their water bills include bills for sewer usage from Oneida County as well as water use, and increases on their bill may sometimes reflect rate hikes from other utilities, such as the recent 22% Utica sewer rate increase.

You can listen to Becher explain this in more detail below: