(04/11/08) BROOKLYN ? The New York City Water Board has raised its proposal for a price hike from 11.5 percent to 14.5 percent.

The board says it had to make the adjustment due to the rising cost of fuel and an increase in the amount of customers not paying their bills. In addition, the board says the hike was necessitated by $100 million in operating and maintenance costs.

If the increase goes through, the average customer can expect to pay about $200 per quarter instead of $175. The hike would represent the largest fee jump in 16 years.

The Water Board will also take measures to recoup money from customers, including payment plans and service shut-offs for customers who don?t pay.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection