Outraged residents from Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset gathered at Hingham Town Hall Tuesday night for a public hearing about a possible water rate hike. This would be the second increase by water company Aquarion in the past two years. The average resident would get an extra $120 tacked onto their water bill every year if the company’s proposal is approved by the Department of Public Utilities.
But residents and town officials are confused why Aquarion is already asking for more money even though it increased its rate in April of 2009.
One Hull resident who was outraged by the proposal spoke candidly to representatives from the water company, saying, “This will now place Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Oxford, and Mulberry residents in the position of having amongst the highest water rates in the state. So congratulations Aquarion, you have now proven a dreaded private sector is much more inefficient than the public sector.”
Like most town officials and local residents, State Senator Bob Hedlund was in attendance to give a formal objection against Aquarion’s suggested rate increase.
“I urge the DPU to carefully review all files of this case to determine whether this hike is justified or whether Aquarion investors and executives simply to seek to increase the company’s bottom line at the expense, of what I believe, already exploited ratepayers of the three towns,” said Senator Hedlund.
Another hearing will be held in the fall of 2011 between the DPU and Aquarion. If approved, the rate will go into effect April 2012.