Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Mohawk Valley Water Authority has voted to raise rates, a 2-percent rate hike will go into effect on April first.

Executive Director Patrick Beecher says the Water Authority is planning to spend $10 million in Capital improvements; $5 million will go towards installing a new automated meter reading system and another $3 million will be spent on a new holding tank for the south reservoir.

Beecher says the new automated system will help monitor usage and allow for monthly billing, instead of a quarterly billing cycle. "It's a lot of money up front but it does pay for itself. We can lower our labor cost over the next bunch of years, as well as being able to capture more accurate revenue from people" said Beecher.

The Executive Director added that the new monitoring system will also give accurate meter readings with no need for estimates.  According to the Water Authority, water usage nationwide has been dropping annually, local consumption last year was down 1 to 2%.

The increase means an additional $9 a year for the average household.