Cus­tomers’ an­nual wa­ter ser­vice rate could dou­ble

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Jay Bra­man Jr. news@free­manon­line.com

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.”

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