Water district budget assumes 2% rate hike

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PORTLAND — Portland Water District trustees unanimously approved a $37.4 million operating budget for 2011, a 0.6 percent increase over the current spending level.

The budget assumes a mid-year water rate increase of 2 percent, or roughly 50 cents on a residential water bill, PWD Public Relations Manager Michelle Clements said in a press release.

Clements said the Board of Trustees will meet over the coming months to determine the actual rate increase.

The board also approved a $9 million Capital Improvement Plan that includes a $1 million pilot study and design of an ultraviolet treatment system. Another $2.2 was allocated to upgrade waste-water facilities, and $4.6 million was approved for water distribution renewals.

Waste-water fees charged to its 11 municipalities, including Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Cumberland, remain unchanged, Clements said.