Fire Protection Surcharge Goes Into Effect For Six Westchester Communities

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Towns Opt to Move Charges to United Water Customer Bills

New Rochelle -- Six Westchester communities have opted to move public fire protection charges that are currently paid by the municipality to United Water customer bills. Effective June 1, 2014, United Water customers in the communities listed below will see the Municipal Public Fire Protection (MPFP) Surcharge as a separate item on their bill.

Village of Ardsley
Village of Dobbs Ferry
Village of Hastings on the Hudson
City of New Rochelle
Village of Pelham Manor
Village of Port Chester

These towns selected the option after Assembly Bill 4086-A was passed last year. Each town held a public hearing and a vote by their town board. The town then informed the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to order United Water to bill the customers instead of the municipality for public fire protection.

When a town selects this option, United Water cannot bill the municipality for Municipal Public Fire Protection. Instead, United Water must bill a surcharge to all other customers in that town. The municipality must then pass on any savings to taxpayers.

The surcharge is based on the size of the customer’s water meter as well as the number of fire hydrants in their town. Some customers who have private fire protection or certain internal sprinkler systems on their water bill, and municipalities are exempt from the surcharge.

United Water installs fire hydrants at the request of the local fire department or municipality. The municipality determines the number and locations of fire hydrants.

The company maintains the hydrants as well the mains and valves which supply water to the hydrant, the water storage systems and the equipment which provides water pressure and flow throughout the town. Mains that supply water to fire hydrants are larger than domestic lines. The larger sized mains ensure that there is enough water flow, velocity, pumping capacity and pressure to fight a fire. Not only is this important to save life and property, but an efficient fire suppression system is important to a municipality’s ISO fire rating and insurance costs.

United Water was not involved with the Assembly bill.

For further information, contact United Water’s customer service center at 877-266-9101 or UWNRcustomerservice@unitedwater.com.

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