Saturday, November 28, 2020

Speculator raises minimum water usage fee

 Speculator VB October 28 2020


Speculator raises minimum water usage fee



A Special Meeting of the Village of Speculator Board of Trustees was held at the Village Hall, 2875 State Route 8, Speculator, New York, on October 28, 2020, at 3:00 pm to review of the water and sewer revenue scenarios to address the rising costs of services.

The meeting was called to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Water and Wastewater revenues. Mayor Jeannette Barrett reminded the board that revenues are down approximately 17% since the start of the pandemic. However, the costs of running the WWTP continue to rise and must be supported by these revenues. The Board reviewed water and sewer revenue scenarios from other NY villages and cities based on a survey of WWTP plants in 2017 by NYCOM.

Barrett, Edward Scharpou, Water/Wastewater Chief Operator; Crystal O’Brien, Clerk – Treasurer brought the board up to speed on the current fee schedule and noted that prior to 2019, the Village had not increased fees for many years, despite a prior board commissioning a rate assessment evaluation and plan, and in the face of continued operating costs. Several scenarios were discussed in detail.

The most equitable plan includes a minimum usage of 1000 gallons/month (3000 gallons/quarter) to be charged to both water and sewer. All usage over the 1000 gallons/month (3000 gallons/quarter) will be charged at the same usage rate of $5.10 per 1000 gallons for water and $8 per 1000 gallons for sewer. This usage is estimated based on a single person. The usage has remained consistent since 2013 The base rate of $88 for water and $107 for sewer will not change until the next planned increase in August 2021. This minimum usage will be put in effect for the February 1, 2021 billing cycle giving the board time to hold a public hearing if needed.

Trustee Mark Donecker made a motion to add a minimum usage fee of 3,000 gallons to the water and sewer fees to be implemented in the first billing quarter of 2021. Trustee Mark Crary seconded, and the motion was passed by all.

This article is based on the minutes of Crystal O’Brien, Clerk – Treasurer.

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