SOUTHBRIDGE — Local property owners will see a small increase to their water and sewer bills, on average a combined total of $16.32 per year.

During a public hearing presentation, assessor Wil Cournoyer said the municipal sewer budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be $4,548,655, an increase of $46,391, while the water budget will be $3,8894,683, up by $10,448 over the current budget total. As a result, town officials raised the sewer rates by 2 percent and water rates by 1 percent.

Cournoyer said the typical single family user in Southbridge and Charlton uses 1,400 cubic feet of water. Based on the average usage and the increase rates, Cournoyer forecast a fiscal impact of an additional $1.17 per quarter for water usage and $2.91 per quarter for sewer usage.

Asked to compare the local rates to those around the region, Cournoyer said he did not have specific details available at the time but affirmed “We’re in the middle of the pack.” He stressed it “really is hard to do an apples to apples kind of thing” due to consumption rates and varying meter charges.

Cournoyer also called on locals to monitor their meters in order to catch irregularities and possible leaks that will result in noticeably larger bills. If any error or irregularity is noticed, he urges local to “get it fixed immediately.”

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