February 25, 2014 04:00 PM
With the help of $3 million in revenues from the sale of surplus property, the Suffolk County Water Authority Board on Monday chopped a planned a rate increase that would have added $12 to an average customer’s annual water rate to a new rate that will add just over $4 for the year, or 35 cents per month, to the average bill.
The SCWA Board and executive staff recently identified approximately 400 acres of authority-owned land not needed for present or future water supply use. The initiative has to date generated just over $3 million in revenues, including the recent sale of 7.8 acres along the Long Island Expressway in Islandia, which brought in $1.56 million.
“I’ m proud to say that the surplus land initiative has paid off tremendously already for our ratepayers,” said SCWA Chairman James F. Gaughran. “Thanks to the sale at market value of land that we had absolutely no use for, an average SCWA ratepayer this year will see a rate increase roughly equivalent to the price of a cappuccino.”
The rate increase, which takes effect on April 1, will mean that an average SCWA customer using 160,000 gallons of water per year will now pay $350 per year, up from the current average of $346. SCWA rates are among the lowest among water suppliers in the New York metropolitan area 
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