NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has proposed a 3.35 percent water and sewer rate increase.

It would be the lowest hike since fiscal 2006 and is less than half of the anticipated increase, the DEP said.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal that his proposal was “moving things in the right direction.”

During the mayoral campaign, he had criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for a 5.6 percent water-rate hike.

For the first time ever, the proposal for fiscal year 2015 also recommends freezing the minimum charge for customers that use fewer than 100 gallons per day. That effort would benefit a quarter of all single-family homeowners.

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The Water Board received the proposal Wednesday. It plans to hold public hearings in each borough in May and vote on the proposal May 23. If approved, the new rate would take effect July 1.

A single-family homeowner would see a boost from $992 to $1,025 a year. The increase for a multifamily home with metered billing would go up from $645 to $666 a year per unit.

Information on the hearings is available here.

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