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Monticello approves water and sewer rate increases

By Matt Shortall
Posted 10/26/21

Board members in the Village of Monticello voted four to one on Wednesday to approve a local law to raise quarterly residential water and sewer rates.

The rate increases were originally proposed …

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Monticello approves water and sewer rate increases

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Board members in the Village of Monticello voted four to one on Wednesday to approve a local law to raise quarterly residential water and sewer rates.

The rate increases were originally proposed to double, but were eventually scaled back before Wednesday’s meeting. The quarterly residential water rate will now increase from $52.25 to $82.28 and the quarterly sewer rate increased from $43.11 to $69.91.

Village Mayor George Nikolados was joined by Trustees Michael Banks, Rochelle Massey and Charlie Sabatino voting in favor. Trustee Carmen Rue was opposed.

Nikolados explained that such increases are necessary to support infrastructure upgrades while some village residents said that the rate increases were too high for those on fixed incomes.

“You see people walking in and out of the diner with holes in their shoes because they’re dirt poor,” said resident Ronald Moss. “How the hell do you think they’re going to be able to afford this? I don’t want to see this increase go through.”

Nikolados said there are new housing units being built and residential projects currently before the planning board that, once complete, will help pay into the water and sewer system.

“I think it’s way too much for people who are paying taxes in this village,” said resident Dave Entwisle.
Nikolados explained that there was a $13 million loan and $2 million grant for the sewer plant that began operations two years ago. The new water plant to be constructed is expected to cost around $12 million and the village has secured a $5.69 million grant.

“There’s a lot of free money that was handed to the village for some of these projects,” Roy Richardson of Barton & Loguidice said about the more than $7 million in grant funding toward instruction improvements.
Despite grant funding and low-interest loans, Richardson explained that there have been upgrades that were “never transferred back to the public,” such as new water meters that were installed in recent years.

“The rates have always stayed the same even though additional expenditures have happened,” Richardson said.
He explained how the costs of everything from construction materials to the chemicals used in water and sewer treatment have also increased.

Infrastructure updates
“Sometimes it’s out of sight and out of mind, but we just wanted to put out there what the village is doing,” said Richardson. “There’s a lot of good things coming up.”

Richardson said that they are finalizing design plans to repair the Waverly Avenue Bridge. Richardson said the County Division of Public Works has the project scheduled for spring construction.

As the Democrat reported in September, the Waverly Avenue Bridge has become significantly deteriorated.
“It will be back to two lanes, one in each direction. It will be secured for the long haul and the county will pay for it,” Richardson said.

Furthermore, Richardson said construction on village water system upgrades will begin this spring. The East Dillon pump station will be upgraded and the Hospital Hill tank will be replaced.

Construction on the village water plant is expected to begin in late summer or early fall of 2022.

“These are positive things we’re doing to improve the water and sewer infrastructure in the village,” Richardson said.

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  • DRC

    So glad I do not live in Monticello. The people running the town waste money, keep getting raises in THEIR paychecks and then go ahead and do something like this which will have a huge impact on residents who already have a tough time coming up with money for monthly necessities.

    Tuesday, October 26 Report this