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Albion village increases water, sewer rates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2020 at 4:04 pm

Village facing increased operating costs, capital improvements

ALBION – The Albion Village Board voted last week to raise the water and sewer rates for users inside and outside the village.

Village officials say this is the first increase in six years. For most users, the increase will be 35 cents per 1,000 gallons of water and 30 cents per 1,000 gallons for sewer.

The village needed to raise the rates in response to increased costs for labor, materials and electricity, said Gary Katsanis, the village’s deputy mayor.

The village also is facing capital improvement projects for water and sewer.

“In the sewer plant, the DEC mandated an additional processing step, which will use ultraviolet light as a disinfectant,” Katsanis said. “Installation is expensive and operation involves increased utility costs.”

The water distribution system also is aging and the village will be upgrading some waterlines, including an upcoming project on Clinton and West Academy streets.

“We need to fund that, and we also need to evaluate other portions of the water distribution system to ensure that it is providing the pressure and flow that is needed by the community,” Katsanis said.

The village also will be replacing the main watermain from Lake Ontario to the village, and the major components of the pumping system for the main, which is about 60 years old, Katsanis said..

“The village has state support for a $3.2 million repair and upgrade to that system, but there will be a significant cost to the village for that work,” he said.

Currently the residential and commercial rates are $3.26 per 1,000 gallons for water for inside-village customers and $3.52 for sewer.

Outside-village users are billed $4.19 for water and $4.45 for sewer.

There are also quarterly fees for water – $5 administrative fee and $5 water meter use – and $10 administrative fee for sewer.

The higher rates – add 35 cents to water and 30 cents to sewer per 1,000 gallons – will start on April 1 and be reflected in the water and sewer bills that come out in July.

Katsanis said the board recognizes that paying a water bill can be difficult for some community members.

“With this in mind, the Board reduced the basis under which the minimum amount billed is calculated,” he said. “The current minimum bill is $58.02 and is based on usage of 5,610 gallons per billing cycle. We reduced this minimum to 5,100 gallons, so that the new minimum bill is actually a few cents lower than the existing amount. The new calculation is based more on the principle of water customers paying for the gallons they actually use.”

The board will also phase in the increase for larger water and sewer customers. They will be billed the full new rate for up to 100,000 gallons. After that, the increase will be 17 cents this year and the other 18 cents in 2021.

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