DANSVILLE — The wait is over and the votes are final.
Dansville Village board officials unanimously voted to raise the water and sewer rates starting Oct. 1. at a special meeting held Tuesday in the North Town Hall.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Scott Tracy went over the numbers one more time to explain to the public why he feels the rate increase is important.
Tracy crunched the numbers in a handout he offered to the public.
For an average household that uses 10,000 gallons of water a quarter (that is every 3 months) the present base rates are $72, usage is $30, and total per quarter is $102 for inside village water. The present base rate is $65, usage is $30, and total per quarter is $95 for inside village sewer. Together the bills are presently $137 base rate, $60 usage, and a total per quarter of $197 for inside the village.
The water plant charge for inside the village is an extra $38.53 for the next six years. The sewer plant charge is approximately $46.48 for inside and outside of the village. The total bill without each plant is roughly $150.99 inside the village.
Now for outside the village the rates and prices are a little more. Presently these users pay a base rate of $88, usage of $35, and a total per quarter of $123 for water. They pay $80 base rate, $35 usage, and $115 per quarter for sewer. Together they pay about $168 base rate, $70 usage, $238 per quarter.
With the new rates increase the bills will start to look a little like this starting in October: Inside the village will pay $83 base rate, $35 usage, and $118 per quarter for water. They will pay $83 base rate, $35 usage, and $118 per quarter for sewer. All together people who use water and sewer inside the village will pay $166 base rate, $70 usage, and $236 per quarter.
Outside of the village users will now need to pay $98 base rate, $40 usage, and $138 per quarter for water. They will pay $98 base rate, $40 usage, and $138 per quarter for sewer. This means all together they will pay $196 base rate, $80 usage, and $276 per quarter.
Tracy is adamant that this has saved the village a lot of money; considering the original plan years ago was to charge a lot more money.
Trustee Dan Rittenhouse said he understands how the public feels.
“I wanted to talk to all of you with regards of what I see in front of me and what I heard a lot of people say. I really appreciate everyone who spoke at the public hearing,” he said. “We are at a crossroads now. I cringe that our bill is going up when it is already high now.”
Rittenhouse gave the example of the Geneseo Wastewater Plant that is still functioning after being built in 1962.
“Over the years it has changed and been upgraded,” he said. “We wonder why Dansville has these charges now, but I won’t throw stones. Poor management got us where we are now. The previous board was faced with the need for a new sewer plant. I will never take a shot at them.”
Rittenhouse pressed the new situation is that the bill is down $13.5 million from $19.5 million and there is now zero percent interest.
“What we are looking at here is just $3 dollars a week,” he said. “I will like knowing that everything works properly. It was going to be $850 dollars a year for sewer and now it is $472 dollars a year. That is a savings of $483 dollars a year in sewer.”
Rittenhouse mentioned how hard the village board has worked to make this go down as much as possible.
“Dansville is ranked at a hardship level. If we are taken out of a hardship level the interest will go up again,” he said. “We will continue to find ways to cut what we can. We had not made the rates go up all along, and it stings that this is all happening at once. I don’t know where the bottom is. I grew up in this village, and I will stay and help.”
Trustee Richard Lebar addressed the debt service.
“The rates increase in compost. We haul the sludge to Bath every year and last year we spent $190,000 dollars hauling sludge to Bath,” he said. “Now the cost will be covered with a grant, and this sludge will be available to the community. We can sell the product.”
Trustee Richard Whitenack hopes there will be no more problems moving forward.
“We can visit the budget again after a year and make cuts,” he said. “I hope this doesn’t bite us. We have done our best.”
Mayor Peter Vogt offered a motion for the water rate to be $83 base rate and $3.50 a week inside the village; the base rate to be $98 with $4 per week for outside the village. The motion was approved 5-0.
Mayor Vogt offered a motion for the sewer rate to be $83 base rate and $3.50 per week inside the village; the base rate to be $98 and $4 per week outside of the village. The motion was approved 5-0.
“The changes will be given to the department of state (Wednesday) and the rates will go in effect the 1st of October,” Mayor Vogt said.