Hamilton residents could see a 19% increase to their cost of water. Supplier Aqua NJ is proposing more than a dollar increase per thousand gallons, bringing the cost from $5.40 to $6.50.

The average cost of water would increase by more than 8 bucks per month per resident. Prices could go up even further if Distribution System Improvement Charges are approved.

Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede.

However, Mayor Kelly Yaede is demanding the water provider back down, as the rate is disconnected from the township’s spending increases. The township has increased its budget by only 1.08% annually for the past five years.

“In the interest of the 11,000 Hamilton taxpayers that would be impacted by these rate increases, I am demanding that Aqua NJ reconsider this proposal and make every effort to reduce the amount of increase it is seeking, as a 19 percent increase is unconscionable and unacceptable,” says Mayor Kelly Yaede. “I have and will continue to fight for safe drinking water; however, a 19 percent increase is appalling.”

Yaede is writing a formal letter to send to a judge who will be overseeing upcoming public hearings. She is also planning to meet with an Aqua NJ representative to discuss the rate increase.

Residents can also attend public hearings, scheduled for Mar. 28 at the Hamilton Township Public Library. The first will be held at 4 p.m. and the second at 5:30 p.m. for people who could not attend the earlier meeting.