Letter to the editor: New Kensington water charges & bills
After a price adjustment in 2018, the Municipal Authority of New Kensington notified customers about another increase in 2019. The authority stated in January that the water rate hike would be 12%. Bills will increase more than that.
The authority previously itemized water bills, showing the actual usage cost and additional surcharges separately. The authority now lumps everything into one total amount due, leaving customers unaware of any extra fees and misleading people into believing they are just paying for water consumption alone. If the authority would break down charges like any other utility company, it would properly disclose the information that customers deserve to know.
The authority mentioned a typical single-family customer using 15,000 gallons per quarter would see an increase of $6 per month. Not revealed was how the meter service fee went from $22 to $30. There was a $15 surcharge in 2018. Customers will have seen these added charges go up 100% in one year. These extra charges aren’t listed on our bills but hidden in the total due. The authority expects customers to browse its website to be cognizant of that. Many people probably aren’t even aware an added charge exists.
The actual water rate went from $3.75 to $4.25 per 100 cubic feet, greater than the 13% increase. With the rise in added extra charges and higher actual rates, I estimate my quarterly water bill will go up over 25%.
Perhaps the authority could be giving more accurate information while also working on detailing its bills better so people are aware.