Water, sewer rates to rise by 5 percent

Acting on a unanimous recommendation from the town’s Water and Sewer Oversight Committee, the Board of Selectmen has voted, 3 to 2, to raise the water and sewer rates by 5 percent for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1. Doug Gardner, who advises the town as a Pioneer Consulting Group staff member, suggested the increase. He noted that over the next few years Billerica will have to fund major improvements to the municipal sewer system that are expected to cost about $30 million. Gardner recommended gradual yearly rate increases rather than waiting to implement large increases to pay for the projects.