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Dundee plans 59 percent sewer rate increase

DUNDEE—Rates for sewer will go up go up 59 percent and water, 18 percent if approved by village trustees as part of the 2009-10 village budget. Comments on the increases were part of a public hearing on the 2009-10 village budget April 14.
Asked for reasons for the proposed increases, village clerk Christine Sutherland said, “Basically the village is running in the red. There has been no positive balance all year in sewer. It’s $45,725 in the hole.” She said the village was almost holding their own last year before a major break on Edwina Street and other problems “just kept getting worse.”
Calculations of the proposed new rates took expenditures and a year’s worth of usage, divided by the $1,178.496, sewer expenses proposed this year divided by the average year’s usage of $37,769,000 to reach the rate of $9.15 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer has a big debt despite the 2007 grant of $400,000 for work at the wastewater treatment plant the maximum available from NYS Small Cities grants. At this time it is estimated that work will go over budget by $56,486. Sutherland said the village is still paying for upgrades to the plant. Expenses of plant operation were also taken into account. The cost of electric is now $35,000 per year. The sewer rate would increase $5.75 to $9.15 per 1,000 gallons used and the sewer use minimum for the first 4,000 gallons would increase to $36.60 per quarter.
On the water side, the village needs to make up at least $6,000. Sutherland said minor upgrades are needed at the well houses, with a cost to the village at about $3,000 and water level monitoring systems, which will add $5,000 in costs. Sutherland said, “Maintenance and upkeep need to be done.” Water rates are proposed to increase $3.75 to $4.45 per 1,000 gallons used. Water use minimum for the first 7,000 gallons would increase to $3.15 per quarter. Customers of the Dundee system currently pay approximately $138 per quarter for sewer and water for a family of four. The minimum rate for both sewer and water is $52.50 per quarter.
Non-resident surcharge quarterly fee for water only will remain at $35 per quarter and for sewer only will change from $35 to $45. The non-resident surcharge quarterly fee for water and sewer would change from $70 to $80 per quarter. Water reconnection fee would increase $20 to $50.
Rates for both sewer and water are lower in the village of Penn Yan, but the number of customers who share the cost is much higher than in Dundee. Penn Yan is also facing large expenses connected to water and sewer service.

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