Queens, NY — Officials and city residents yesterday criticized a proposed 11.5 percent increase in city water and sewer bills.
In the first of five public hearings scheduled to take place over three days, speakers told the New York City Water Board, which sets the rates for the city, that the increase would hurt working families, especially those on fixed incomes. “The senior citizens are going to be in trouble,” Nancy DiCroce, 76, of Howard Beach, said at the meeting, which was held at the city’s Department of Environmental Protection office in Flushing.
The increase, which would go into effect in July, would add $72 to the average annual water and sewer bill for a single-family home in the city, bringing the average bill to $699. The department’s deputy commissioner, Anne Canty, said she hoped that the increase would not be too much of a burden but was “what the system really needs right now.”