Typical Glens Falls water and sewer customer to pay $5.97 more next year

December 4,2015

GLENS FALLS  Water and sewer charges would increase $5.97 for the year for the typical family, under the proposed Glens Falls 2016 water and sewer budget.

The typical family owns a home valued at $110,000 and does not exceed the minimum charge for metered water, according to the city’s definition.

Water rates would increase by about 1 percent, and sewer rates by about 0.6 percent, under the proposed budget the city Water and Sewer Commission has approved and the Common Council is reviewing.

Rate increases were minimized by allocating $106,000 in unused funds from this year toward 2016 spending. No fund balance from 2014 was allocated toward this year’s budget.

The proposed budget increases fees for services such as new water and sewer connections, installation of meters and treatment of sludge from outside contractors.

Fees were increased to reflect increased labor and equipment costs, said City Engineer Steve Gurzler.

The Common Council will schedule a public hearing before it votes on whether to adopt the budget.

Charges are based on a combination of usage charges and capital charges.

Capital charges are based on the value of a customer’s property.

Proposed water fund spending is $3.3 million, an increase of about $83,000.

Proposed sewer fund spending is $5.9 million, an increase of about $410,000.

The planned shutdown of the wastewater treatment incinerator in March is factored into the budget.

Revenue is less because the plant is no longer handling liquid sludge and grease trap waste.

Overall spending will increase because the plant will be disposing sludge off site, but the city will avoid increased debt payments it would have incurred if it had refurbished the incinerator, Gurzler said.

The department will pay tipping fees to dispose of sludge, but eliminate costs for fuel and supplies to operate the incinerator.

The proposed budget includes lease payments for purchase of two tandem dump trucks to haul sludge.

The budget includes purchase of a pickup truck for reservoir maintenance, with the $32,000 costs spread out over five years.

It includes $50,000 to replace radio transmitters on water meters, and $10,000 to replace a portable air compressor.

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