STONE HARBOR — Water rates in the borough will go up for the first time in three years in an effort to help pay back bonds as well as curb excessive water use.

The Stone Harbor Borough Council unanimously approved the ordinance at their meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the approved ordinance, minimum charges for residences will increase $25 per quarter. For example, in a three-month period, the minimum charge for a water meter service size of between 5/8 and 3/4 inches will be raised from $45 to $70.

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The borough also is raising rates for homes that use exclusion meters.

These meters monitor water use at homes where the water does not flow into sewage drains in the borough. Those homes are excluded from rates from the county’s municipal utilities authority.

 For homes with these meters, the rate would be raised from $2.25 per 1,000 gallons used every three months to $3 per 1,000 gallons up to 50,000 gallons. The proposed rate increase for use between 50,000 gallons and 80,000 gallons per quarter would be raised from $3.50 to $4.25 per 1,000 gallons used.

The rate will rise more sharply for people who use the most water. For any water used beyond 80,000 gallons in a three-month period, a resident would pay $8.50 per 1,000 gallons used, up from the current rate of $5 per 1,000 gallons.

“We’re trying to make it equitable across the board, which I think we did,” said Stone Harbor Councilwoman Joan Kramar at Tuesday’s meeting.

Kramar said residents should look into lowering their water heater temperature and using low-flow sprinklers to save themselves money and save the borough water.

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