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Mount Vernon Water Rates Jump 14 Percent

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Water rates in Mount Vernon have risen 14 percent this month, resulting in a $5.25 quarterly increase for homeowners.

Anthony Bove, commissioner of the Board of Water Supply, said residents are now paying $40.50 per quarter compared to $35.25 last year. Bove said a water rate increase last year from the Westchester Joint Water Works was not passed along to Mount Vernon users. This meant a loss of about $5 million in revenue to the city, he said.

“We ate up that expense,” Bove said. “It was a different time in the city, and because of that we have to charge more to keep the water system up to date. When you open up your faucet, you get beautiful water, but it’s not free.”

Bove said even with increase water rates are cheaper in Mount Vernon than in other municipalities served by Westchester Joint Water Works. Bove said the commission  regularly updates its system, and because it's gravity-based rather than driven by pumps, rates are usually lower.

“Any time we have a problem in the city, our people are there right away,” Bove said. “As soon as you call, we come.”

Even though a drought is not expected this summer, Bove said, the water commission regularly asks residents to conserve. He said the commission also ordered new caps for fire hydrants that allow them to be turned on like sprinklers. When residents open standard hydrants themselves, he said, they have a tendency to break.

“The sprinkler system helps us to avoid wasting water,” Bove said. “We are trying to open up more systems in the park. When the hydrants break, all havoc breaks loose, so we do a lot of preventative measures.”

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