By Linda Haase
Residents and businesses in Briny Breezes, Ocean Ridge and parts of Hypoluxo will be hit with higher water bills beginning this month.
The Boynton Beach City Commission voted April 21 to raise rates for 96,000 customers in the city, unincorporated areas to the west, Briny Breezes, Ocean Ridge and parts of Hypoluxo.
The majority of the hike will be in the fixed-base rate — which will more than double — from $6.05 to $13.47 for residential customers outside the city limits, which includes Briny Breezes and parts of Hypoluxo. Ocean Ridge residents, who pay in-city rates, will pay a base rate of $10.77, up from $4.84.
Businesses outside of the city will pay a base rate of $26.93, up from $12.10; in-city rates will increase to from $12.10 to $21.54.
The increases, the first since 1994, cover water consumption and the base rate for waste water and waste-water consumption rates.
An Ocean Ridge resident who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month will see an increase of about $7. Briny Breezes residents, who pay out-of-city rates and also receive waste water services from Boynton Beach, will see an increase of about $15 (based on 5,000 gallons used). Briny Breezes property owners are billed based on their share in the corporation.
Most of Hypoluxo’s customers receive only waste-water services, where the base rate will increase from $15.04 to $20.68 and the commodity rate will increase 19 cents per thousand gallons used.
The changes will provide a higher percentage of revenue from base rates to offset the dwindling proceeds from water consumption sparked by mandatory water restrictions and a decline in development.
“There’s never a good time for an increase,” said Boynton Beach Mayor Jerry Taylor. “No one wants to increase rates, but it is costing us more to produce than we are taking in.”
Monthly water rates for residential customers
Briny Breezes and parts of Hypoluxo Base rate: $13.47 Consumption charge: $1.90 (per thousand gallons up to 9,000 gallons)
Ocean Ridge and Boynton Beach Base rate: $10.77 Consumption charge: $1.52 (per thousand gallons up to 9,000 gallons)
Delray Beach Base rate: Inside city: $15.72 Outside city: $19.65 Consumption charge: $1.94 (per thousand gallons for 4,000-20,000 gallons
Manalapan Base rate: Ranges from $33.66 to $521.73 depending on size of meter (5/8 inch to 4 inches) Consumption charge: $1.85 per thousand gallons 20 percent surcharge added for Hypoluxo customers