Joint sewer board increasing sewer rates by two percent

JOHNSTOWN — The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board adopted 2019-20 sewer rates for users of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility Thursday night at Johnstown City Hall.

Prior to rate adoption, the board conducted a rates public hearing, during which no one spoke.

Sewer rates paid by residential and industrial users of the cities’ sewage treatment plant were increased by 2 percent. The rates remained flat when adopted a year ago. In addition to residential and industrial rates increasing by 2 percent, inflow and infiltration fees were increased by $2 per connection.

Sewer plant Fiscal Officer Donna Renda said Friday that new sewer rates take effect Wednesday.

The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board the last several years has been able to keep rate hikes down to the minimum low single-digits.

According to Sewer Board Chairman Wrandy Siarkowski, the board draws occasionally from its Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund to help keep rates nominal for users.

The board recently passed a couple resolutions that helped keep the rates down for the coming year. One resolution indicated the City Sewer Use Law allows the board to operate with a fund balance at the end of each fiscal year. That balance can be appropriated by the board “in a manner that meets the fiscal requirements of the facility,” the resolution said.

The resolution said the fund balance from fiscal year 2018 totalled $668,316. The board decided to transfer $200,000 of the fund balance to the Capital and Equipment Reserve Fund, and a larger amount of $468,316 to the Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund. Facility officials then transferred the $468,316 from the Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund to the sewer plant’s General Fund for rate stabilization.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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