(Host) The City of Newport has begun to debate again whether to install a metered water system.
Proponents say meters would even out the cost of clean water for all residents.
City manager John Ward recommended the shift. Ward says the city has had to increase water rates each of the past ten years to pay for a series of upgrades.
(Ward) "The costs have gone way up and to be fair you have to meter, where many years ago, it was so cheap to provide water it didn’t make sense to meter. Meeting all these federal and state standards, it’s expensive. And we all want to have clean water. And we have to pay the cost and we’re trying to divide it up fairly amongst all users. And depending on where you sit in the user range determines how fair you think it is of course."
(Host) Residents of single-family homes would see the most savings if meters were adopted. Their bills would be cut almost in half.
Landlords and owners of multi-family buildings say the plan would put too much of the cost on them.
Voters are scheduled to decide the issue in November. There are several public hearings on the proposal this month and next.