The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority said last week that cost revisions, staff reductions, and cuts in overtime will save rate-payers over $600,000 per year.

The changes as part of a management reorganization and review of operations, according to MWRA executive director Douglas B. MacDonald.

"We are taking an inward look at our management and finding that we can achieve savings without sacrificing the quality of the services we provide to our customers," MacDonald said in a release.

The authority, which has issued about $2 billion in revenue bonds since the late 1980s, will cut nine positions, including five executive posts. The moves will save the authority 342,000 a year.

According to an MWRA spokesman, the positions to be eliminated include director of administrative services, administrative director, director of administrative support, manager of residual marketing, and administrative manager.

Other cutbacks include a 50% cut in cellular telephones issued to MWRA employees, a 40% reduction in MWRA vehicles, and a $300,000 cut in overtime spending at the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. MacDonald said.

As a result of the cutbacks, MacDonald said the authority hopes to reduce water and sewer rates in the state over the next decade.

In the mid-1980s the MWRA was charged by a federal judge with financing the cleanup of the Boston Harbor and the construction of the Deer Island facility.

Although the initial cost of the programs was estimated at $7 billion, ongoing cost revisions have lowered expected costs to around $4.6 billion.

The water authority provides water and sewer services for 43 communities in the state. On average, residents pay $545 per year.

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