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HARRISBURG Lower-than-expected project costs likely will reduce expected utility hikes next year.

The Harrisburg Authority s most recent estimates suggest that:

City water customers will see their bills increase 10 percent.

City sewer customers, 63 percent.

Outside city limits, customers will see sewer rates rise 7 percent in Steelton and 18 percent in other suburbs.

Adjacent communities pay less because their infrastructure use and servicing needs are less than within Harrisburg proper.

Even with the anticipate increases, the authority's rates fall within the lowest 25 percent in the region, according to 2011 data presented last week to the authority's board.

Originally, city water bills were expected to go up 14.5 percent in 2014. Sewer rates could have doubled, according to projections provided last week.

Those bids came in million less than the expected million, reducing estimated debt the authority and its customers will repay to fund the long overdue, federally mandated project.

If the authority can get environmental regulators to compromise on nutrient discharge limits while that project is being completed, rates could drop further still, according to executive director Shannon Williams.

The authority board meets next at 6 p.m. Wednesday at its offices at 212 Locust St.

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