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Sewer Rate Reduction Unanimously Approved

The decrease—roughly $40 per year for most residents—slated to begin in first quarter of 2013.

Sewer rate are going down for Parsippany residents and businesses. At its Tuesday night regular meeting at Town Hall, the Township Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a rate decrease for homeowners and businesses starting in the first quarter of 2013. Another resolution, mandating a one-time sewer rebate, was also passed by the body without dissent.

In addition, a related ordinance was introduced to ensure that the rebate will benefit apartment residents directly. That measure was approved by the council on first reading. It has a scheduled second reading, public hearing and final vote on Dec. 18.

Mayor James Barberio announced last week that this effort was being instituted to make good on his long-ago promise to bring down the rates paid into the sewer fund once the new sewer treatment plant was fully refurbished and functional. That facility opened its doors officially last June. According to the mayor, the plant is reducing the township's energy costs by about 60 percent.

The approval of the sewer rate resolution means the fixed rate for single-family homes and garden apartments would be decreased by almost $10 a quarter, a total of about $40 a year. Businesses would see a rate decrease of 90 cents per thousand gallons, making the new rate $5.14 per thousand gallons. This would begin in the first quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, the sewer rebate, which will begin to be paid out to residents starting Dec. 15, would give homeowners, apartment landlords and commercial citizens a one-time sewer giveback amounting to $1.5 million, or just under $50 per unit for single-family homes and garden apartments and $1.14 per 1,000 gallons for businesses.

If the proposed ordinance wins passage, the garden apartment rebate would require landlords under law to pass the giveback directly to tenants in the form of one-time rent rebates.

Rents are set using the per-unit costs for sewer and water, among other factors.

As it stands, even though a portion of their rent goes into the sewer fund, apartment residents won't enjoy a rent decrease akin to the rate cut going to those who live in actual houses. Patch has asked Mayor Barberio to address the apparent inequity and awaits his response.

Business Administrator Jasmine Lim said these rates for homeowners, landlords and commercial entities could go even lower in the future if it appears prudent. She said the administration wanted to ensure that the sewer maintains a surplus in the neighborhood of $4.5 million to provide protection in the event of a crisis that could affect the treatment plant.

During the public portion of the meeting, citizen-activist Roy Messmer told the council that he believes $4.5 million is too high a figure for the surplus is   recommended landlords should give the rebate to residents.

"I want to see $2.5 million," he said, adding that he doubted the administration's position that nearly $5 million in the surplus was necessary to maintain Parsippany's bond rating.

Mike December 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Why hasn't the water main break on Maplewood Drive been fixed? The break was noticed on Friday and still water is running out of the break at an alarming rate. This is now Sunday at 6:00pm.
Frank Drebin December 02, 2012 at 11:12 PM
"The Mayor" said at the council meeting about the proposed Whole Food development Parsippany has plenty of water. Why spend money fixing the problem if we have so much water?
Sick of the trolls December 04, 2012 at 12:40 AM
"Frank", What does any of that have to do with the sewer rebate? What are you blathering on about? And why do you put the Mayor in quotes? Are you talking about someone other than Mayor Barberio? Or are you trying to imply that he is not the duly elected Mayor of Parsippany? That's some pretty big balls for a man using the name of a character from a lame cop movie spoof as his avatar. If you're trying to imply something about the Mayor, you could at least have the guts to do it under your real name.
Frank Drebin December 04, 2012 at 02:17 AM
"Sick" I wasn't talking about the sewer rebate, it was about the water main break. Why don't you have the balls to use your real name?
Sick of the trolls December 04, 2012 at 03:54 AM
The water main break? "Frank," that's a completely different article! Maybe you were hypnotized by your wrist watch and posted on the wrong one. Just watch out, or Reggie Jackson might accidentally shoot you instead of the Queen, with hilarity for all. As for my real name, since my purpose here is to call out clowns like you who like to anonymously bash public servants, I don't think you deserve to know who I am. Start using your real name and you can say whatever you like, because that's your right as a citizen. Until then, I will continue to goof on you and your ridiculous posts. Consider it a public service.

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