BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)-- Bridgeport sewage bills are on the rise after a new private company is in contract negotiations. Now, bills are up 35%.
They're planning a rally for Monday. With that rate increase, bills are up on average are nearly $93 a year.
Driving up Bridgeport sewage bills is a city contract with a new company.
Severn Trent put in a bid to run the water treatment facility.
"They say it's going to be up, it's going to be bad," said Carlos Santiago, Bridgeport.
By law, Chairman of the Water Pollution Control Authority Board says they're required to have a public hearing.
They had one in June, three people came.
Now, bills are going up nearly 35%.
"To be able to manage it effective and efficiently the rates will be going up," said Ted Grabarz, Chairman of WPCA Board.
But there's trouble in the water. Union workers at the plant say the new company Severn Trent hasn't tried negotiating with them cutting benefits and not recognizing experience.
"It has to be cost effective measure that benefits this city and benefits its residents. I don't see why the WPCA board can't run the operation on it's own. Effectively, they already have the employees in place," said David Jensen, WPCA Employee for Union.
"I think their best choice for the future is continuing with a private company because I think there's going to be a lot of things they could be offered that the city or WPCA could never do so," said Grabarz.
Employees say the new company isn't willing to budge.
"That's all we're looking for is some type of dialogue. Some type of common courtesy and some type of respect of positions we've done for years," said Jensen.
"I've heard from both sides and I'm currently and continuously recommending that they speak some more because these guys meaning the company have been very willing to sit down," said Grabarz.
This is the only company the city is negotiating a contract with. They say it should be finalized by the end of next month.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch's spokesperson says he was too busy to do an interview Wednesday about it.
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