Speaking about Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza‘s plan to monetize the the Providence Water Supply, which includes the Scituate Reservoir and serves 60 percent of the state’s population, Rhode Island’s Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello said that the “sale of Providence Water to the Narragansett Bay Commission or to a different purchaser, whatever that purchase price, is is going to be put on the rates that the ratepayers pay. So most people in Rhode Island would incur water fee increases should that happen.”

Speaker Mattiello was speaking on the Gene Valicenti Show on WPRO-AM on Wednesday morning as part of the monthly “Ask the Speaker” segment.

Mattiello also disputed the City of Providence’s sole ownership of the water system. “Providence Water is practically owned by the ratepayers in the State of Rhode Island that utilize the water and therefore, should the water system be sold, the sale proceeds should be distributed to the users that have actually built the system up.”

“There’s no question that [the Mayor’s plan] is going to cause a rate increase,” said Mattiello. “Without a rate increase the money’s not going to be there to solve Providence’s problems.”

Here’s Mattiello on the proposed Providence Water legislation:

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