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Water, sewer rates jump for jail

FONDA– The Montgomery County Legislature will be looking into alternative options for water and sewer due to increase water rates at the Montgomery County Jail after the town of Glen raised water rates by 400 percent for residential and commercial rates that went into effect in August 2019.

The legislature passed a resolution during its regular meeting on Sept. 22, amending the 2020 operating budget for the needed appropriations to pay for the water rate increase.

District 9 Legislator Robert Purtell said the jail saw a spike of about 75,000 extra gallons of water in January.

“My point is I’d like to continue getting more information on this, if we would like to hire an engineering company, or some experts to come in and tell us whether this is realistic amounts we should be using there, whether the laundry equipment for an instance there is using a high amount of water, maybe we can get better equipment in there, or there’s several other options,” Purtell said. “There are four wells over in the county park that give about 50 gallons a minute.”

However, he said that’s a long way to travel for a well and they would need to put up a tank which can be extensive. He also said that every gallon used it also affects the sewer charge.

“I think this is something we should do due diligence on,” Purtell said.

Other legislators agreed, stating that the 400 percent increase was substantial, and would like an explanation from the village or town for the increase to justify the costs.

They also agreed to look into alternative sources for water.

The town of Glen increased their rates by 400 percent effective in Aug. 2019 after the town’s water provider, the village of Fultonville, increased their water rates in June 2018.

The town’s existing rate was $3.50 per 1,000 gallons and are now approximately $14 per 1,000.

The rates increased for both residential and commercial districts one and two. The town only has 14 water customers — 12 commercial and two residential. One of the commercial customers includes the Montgomery County Jail.

The new rates for residential district one for the first 7,500 gallons is $150 a month and 2 cents a gallon over 7,500. In commercial district one, the new rate for the first 7,500 gallons is $225 a month and 3 cents a gallon over 7,500. The new rates for residential district two is the same as residential district one, and the new rate for commercial district two for the first 7,500 gallons is $300 a month and 4 cents per gallon over 7,500.

Fultonville water rates were increased because they have not been looked at since 1995 and did not meet budgetary demands. The change in the rates have provided more affordable and more transparent billing to 98 percent of village residential and commercial customers.

The town of Glen buys their water from the village of Fultonville at twice the village residential water rate. In June 2018, the village raised their rates for the first time since 1995 to $7.15 per 1,000 gallons. Since the town of Glen has had the agreement since 1995 to pay 1.9 times the village water rate, that makes Glen’s water rate approximately $14 per 1,000 gallons.

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