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Watkins raises sewer rates two percent

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen village board approved amending the local law to increase sewer rates in the village by two percent, at the regular meeting, Monday, July 19.
While the sewer rates will be increased, the the sewer rents will remain unchanged.  “We’re not trying to make money on this- people just need to realize that we have to have enough to cover our expenses and improvements,” Trustee William Smagner said.  
The increase of the monthly minimum charges for usage is as follows: 0-300 cubic feet or 0-2,250 gallons will increase to $13.26, from $13.  The monthly charges of $4.10 per 100 cubic feet over 300 cubic feet, increases to $4.59 per 100 cubic feet.  Also, $4.50 per 750 gallons over 2,250 gallons will increase to $6.14 per 1,000 gallons.  
“If we don’t do a little every other year, we’re stuck with a big one,” Trustee Nick Kelly said.  
Chuck Franzese from HUNT Engineers, Architects, and Surveyors was present to show the board revised plans for the new raw water intake building.  The board agreed to accept the project and proceed to the planning board, and to accept the new engineering fees.  The proposed cost for the project is $1.25 million, but the village is still looking for cost savings and grant funding.  “I am confident that’s a pretty conservative number,” Franzese said.  
Mayor Judy Phillips added that the reason this project has become such an issue is because stimulus funding money “was abruptly taken away from us.”  
The board also approved a change order involving the development and extension of the Catherine Valley Trail.  The original budget was estimated at about $36,000.  The new estimate comes in at just under $28,000.  
The board approved budget transfers to balance out the 2009-10 budget.  “It’s a tight budget and this year’s budget is even tighter,” Village Clerk Donna Beardsley said.
 “I don’t want extra money, because that means we raised taxes we shouldn’t have raised,” Mayor Phillips said, regarding the numbers.    
A request from Girl Scout Troop 520 was also approved by the board.  The scouts are working toward an award that requires them to help the community in some way.  They have decided to design signs to put in Clute Park that remind village residents to clean up after their dogs.  The girls will work with the Watkins Glen Police Department to also enact a fine associated with not cleaning up after dogs.
The next regular meeting of the Watkins village board will be  Monday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.


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