TUSTEN – Residents of the town can expect a change in water and sewer rates soon as the town was briefed on potential billing options by RCAP Solutions Community Specialist, Becky Sims, at the …
TUSTEN – Residents of the town can expect a change in water and sewer rates soon as the town was briefed on potential billing options by RCAP Solutions Community Specialist, Becky Sims, at the Town Board meeting Tuesday night, August 8.
According to Sims, the current has been assessed to require urgent repairs to the water and sewer systems, expecting to cost roughly $50,000. Town Supervisor Ben Johnson confirmed that although the town will utilize its financial reserves to cover the cost of such repairs, an increase in the rates may be seen in the coming months.
In Sim’s report before the town, she noted that around 800 individuals and 295 customers utilize the water and sewer services provided by the town. A little over 60 percent is residential consumption, while just shy of 40 percent is commercial use.
Five different options regarding rate alterations were presented, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Here is a brief description of each:
Option One; adjust the base rate only at Unit Base Rate (UBR) per quarter being $172.63 and Use Rate (UR) per 1,000 gallons being $0.00.
Option Two; adjust the use rate only with UBR being $114.10 and the UR being $11.03.
Option Three; adjust both with low base and high use with UBR being $46.00 and the UR being $23.86.
Option Four; adjust both with medium base and medium use with the UBR being $80.00 and the UR being $17.46.
Option Five; adjust both with high base and low use with the UBR being $125.50 and the UR being $8.88.
Sims noted that although it is ultimately the town’s decision, in her opinion the most viable choice would be Option Two, with a close second choice being Option Five. She also said that doing nothing at this time is also an option.
“A balance has to be struck in order for the town to both reliably project revenues from user fees but also allow customers from actual usage to affect their final bills,” Sims said.
Councilman Greg Triggs noted that the town is legally unable to create a profit with the increased rates, and that the water and sewer systems are to retain only enough revenue to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
“We aren’t looking to make a profit,” Triggs said.
According to Supervisor Ben Johnson, since the past three years of his tenure in the position, the town has operated the two vital districts at a loss.
The Sewer and Water Committee is expected to meet within the near future to discuss the five options presented, with public hearings to follow as well.
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