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Watkins Glen sewer revenue comes up short ADVERTISEMENT

Watkins Glen sewer revenue comes up short

WATKINS GLEN-- The Watkins Glen Village Board of Trustees was informed that partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, another increase to the village's sewer rate might be in order. One contributing factor is major users such as the racetrack have greatly curtailed their usage with events being postponed or canceled compared to a regular year. Village Treasurer Rhonda Slater informed the board the new multi-million treatment plant has fallen short of covering its expenses.
"I wanted to discuss the sewer budget, I did a quick calculation... we are not bringing in enough revenue to maintain the sewer budget," Slater said.
Slater explained in order for the sewer department to break-even it needs to generate roughly $282,000 a month but over the last two months has been bringing in only roughly $160,000.
Slater said she is still in the process of calculating exactly how much to raise rates to ensure the sewer budget can bridge the shortfall created by the pandemic.
"Part of the issue is that (big users) haven't been as active, but (also) that rates might not have been as high as they should have been," Slater said.
Without knowing how long the pandemic will impact usage, Slater said rates should be raised to avoid a shortfall later.
"I don't want to wait for six months from now when it is compounded," Slater said.
While acknowledging sewer rates had already been recently increased, Slater told the board she would be bringing to their consideration at the next meeting another rate increase.
"This is all an unknown," said Mayor Luke Leszyk when discussing how the village would need to continue to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board did vote to authorize a name change, which was also approved by Montour Falls, to rename the new treatment facility to the Catharine Valley Water Reclamation Facility.

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