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Irrigation Water Use Rising in Stone Harbor

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By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – Tax Collector Deborah Candelore presented Stone Harbor Borough Council Dec. 3 with a 10-year history of irrigation water consumption in the borough.
The data showed that irrigation meter use was at an all-time high in 2019, and that irrigation consumption was at a level not seen since 2010. 
The consumption comparison was based on usage in the busiest quarter of the year – July through September. Irrigation consumption was at a low point in 2013, with 24 million gallons, and at a high of 35 million, in 2019.
Also discussed was the pending rate hike scheduled as part of the 2021 budget. This is the last of three scheduled rate hikes in a five-year period, since the plan was adopted in 2016. The first increase was in 2017.
The revenue from the rate increases was structured to meet the debt service needs of the Water and Sewer Utility, as the borough made capital investments in infrastructure. Retiring Business Administrator Jill Gougher advised the council to look at the results of the five-year plan, and determine if the rates have been sufficient for that purpose.

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