Customers’ annual water service rate could double
PINE HILL >> The annual rate for water service in this Shandaken hamlet could double, from $100 to $200.
That’s the hike proposed by the town of Shandaken, the owner/operator of the Pine Hill Water District. A public hearing on the plan is to be held at 6:45 this evening (Thursday) at the Town Hall on state Route 28 in Allaben.
The proposal calls for users’ quarterly bills to rise from $25 to $50.
Town Supervisor Rob Stanley said the increase is needed because the water district has been running out of money before the end of the year.
“A quarter of the customers aren’t paying their bills,” he said. “They wait and pay them along with their property tax.”
He said the district could have chosen to increase usage rates, a separate charge based on gallons used that places the cost burden on those who use the most water, but opted to change the flat annual fee instead.
One reason, he said, is that usage is down. Last year at this time, district consumers had used a total of about 26,000 gallons per day. This year, it’s about 12,000 per day.
Stanley also said that higher usage rates probably would be offset by consumers cutting their personal consumption.
“If you raise the gallonage rate, they use less water,” he said. “So there’s no extra revenue.”