Harrisburg residents could see water, sewer rate hikes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg has an aging infrastructure. Mayor Eric Papenfuse says the city is dealing with years of neglect and upgrades must take place to meet federal requirements.

“We have to replace our leaking pipes,” said Papenfuse, “We have to fix our sewer systems so the runoff does not go into the Susquehanna River and into the Chesapeake Bay, and this is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Some have estimated that residents may end up paying 150 percent more on their sewer and water rates in the next 15 to 20 years.

Marc Kurowski is the chairman of the Capital Region Water Board. He says the water company is well aware of the concerns and will do what they can going forward.

“We have to strike the balance of how much we have to spend to repair those systems,” said Kurowski, “We also have to avoid more costs by not repairing them and failures happening with how much or residents can afford.”

Some improvements are already taking place in Harrisburg. The work is being paid for from the city’s general fund and from an Impact Harrisburg grant that includes new bump outs, trees, green infrastructure, new wiring for streetlights, and paving.

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