Darien sewage rates rise for sixth year in a row, this time by 2.7%

Darien sewage rates rise for sixth year in a row

Exterior view of Darien Town Hall in Darien, Conn., on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

Exterior view of Darien Town Hall in Darien, Conn., on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN — Sewage rates will increase for the sixth year in a row because of higher operating costs from inflation, officials said.

Come October 1, sewage rates will rise from $6.70 to $6.88 per hundred cubic feet with a minimum service charge of $267.35 per year, up from the current $260.36.

Members of the Sewage Commission unanimously approved the 2.69 percent rate increase during their Sept. 6 meeting, marginally lower than the original 2.99 percent rate proposed but higher than last year’s 2.29 percent raise.

The majority of the money from user fees will go toward operating costs, with a sliver allocated to an emergency reserve fund, officials said. 

“All these folks know I hate raising rates,” Chairman Craig Flaherty said. “I get these bills too. I want them to be lower, not higher. I think we’re talking about a responsible range given all factors we’re considering.”

The sewage rate began rising in 2017 after five consistent years of $5.38 per hundred cubic feet. The largest increase came in 2019 when rates jumped by 8 percent.

RTM member Rolf Obin said he hoped the operational budget would cover longer-term projects and help with costs after years of rising rates.

“We have had over the years an increase with an increase with an increase and so I am looking forward to seeing some relief on that down the road,” Obin said. “Having said that, I know that you have scrutinized the budget very closely and you’re doing what needs to be done.”