The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have accepted the final report of the consultant hired to analyze, and recommend changes to, the water and sewer rates in Seabrook. That report is attached below.
Water and sewer rates in Seabrook have not been raised since 2012, with the result being, in 2017, an operational deficit in those two departments of over $2 million. What that translates to is a taxpayer “subsidy” to water and sewer ratepayers, in 2017, of over 8% of the total municipal budget. That number, as large as it is, does not account for water and sewer capital spending, only the budgeted operational expenses. Year to year studies of those departments has shown that the subsidy continues to grow, with stagnant revenues and increasing expenses. The water and sewer financial reports, issued to the Board of Selectmen annually, show this number consuming an ever larger portion of the municipal budget, squeezing other spending out, and restricting the ability of the Town to make necessary investments in water and sewer capital. (The 2017 reports for each department are attached)
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have examined the attached consultants report and opted to close this operational deficit in water and sewer in FY2019. The new water and sewer rates, starting in January 2019, are attached below. As part of this study the Board also directed that the “service rates” for each department be studied, and they have created a new service fee schedule for each department, attached below.
The Board of Selectmen, as well as the Budget Committee, have directed management to recommend measures that will reduce pressure on the tax burden in Seabrook, and this is a major step in that direction. Every dollar raised in local revenues is one less dollar that needs to be raised through the property tax. This new rate schedule will raise an additional $2 million in local revenues in 2019, eliminating the subsidy from Seabrook’s taxpayers to the ratepayers, reducing that burden on the property tax.
Seabrook 2018 Rate Study Report_Final Amended2