Warwick, RI – Two bills have recently been introduced that will cause water bills to increase. House Bill 8123 allows the City of Providence to sell or lease Providence Water. Senate Bill 2803 allows Narragansett Bay Commission to buy Providence Water. But, the goal of both bills is to give more money to the City of Providence by increasing the water bills of any customer who purchases water from Providence Water directly or indirectly in such communities as Providence, Cranston, North Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, East Providence, Bristol, Warren, Barrington, Warwick, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich and West Warwick. Both pieces legislation specifically prohibit state regulators from reviewing, or rejecting the costs related to the sale or lease Providence Water. One of the bills specifically refers to possible rate increases from the sale or lease arising of Providence Water.
Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon S. Bell commented: “Here we go again. Another ridiculous scheme to bail out the City of Providence by increasing the water bills of customers across Rhode Island. To make the idea more appealing to State House politicians, Narragansett Bay Commission is now involved. Providence and State House politicians will love this idea. Providence politicians get bailed out of the mess they have created in their own city and State House politicians will have an even bigger pot of money from which to scoop at the Narragansett Bay Commission at budget time. Unfortunately, the average consumer will get stuck paying higher bills.”
Bell concluded: “Phony promises may be made that somehow Providence Water can be bought or leased without raising utility bills. But, at the same time, they don’t want regulators to review and approve the costs of the sale or lease. Rhode Islanders pay enough in taxes. We do not need to pay a hidden water tax to bail out the City of Providence.”