Albion to adjust water rates and charges, raising $100,000 a year

Photo by Tom Rivers: The water tower by the Albion Correctional Facility on Route is part of Albion’s water infrastructure.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2022 at 8:29 am

ALBION – The Village Board last week approved changes in the water rates and billing structure that will generate about $100,000 annually for the $1.7 million annual water fund. The additional money will allow the village to pay for upgrades to its water plant and infrastructure.

The changes actually lower the water rate from $3.61 to $3.39 per 1,000 gallons for the village residents and commercial customers. And the village will eliminate a $5 quarterly administrative fee.

The big changes are the addition of a new base charge at $21 per quarter for residents with ¾” meter and how the village does a minimum charge. That is currently $28.16 for residents and most small businesses and includes the first 5,100 gallons of water.

The new system puts the minimum at $21.00 per quarter (the base charge) but doesn’t include any water usage. The village will start billing at zero gallons.

Adam Rush, the chief operator for the water plant, said some residents will see their bills go down slightly if they are low water users. A typical family that uses 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of water every three months would see an increase of $8 to $10 per quarter.

Rush said an elderly resident or couple likely won’t see any change in their water bills, and even a possible decrease if they only use 2,000 gallons or so per quarter.

Even with the changes, which take effect on Oct. 1, Rush said, “We have some of the cheapest water in Western New York.”

The village is investing in its water plant, water lines and will be replacing a 1 million water tank on Route 98 in Gaines, just north of the 5 Corners with a new 750,000-gallon tank.

Albion on April 19 was awarded a $3 million state grant through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act. That will help pay for an estimated $7,855,059 in upgrades to the water system, including a new filtration and sedimentation building at the water plant, and the water tank on Route 98.

The village will need the additional revenue to pay the bond payments for its share of that project and other upgrades.

The village currently produces about 1.45 million gallons of a day at its water plant on Wilson Road in Carlton. The upcoming project will increase the capacity to 4.5 million gallons, Rush said.

County Legislator John Fitzak, who owns a business in Albion, said the proposed changes in the water bill are streamlined, without multiple tiers. He told the board he thinks the simplified bill will be appreciated by many businesses.