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Bolton Point Water Rates

The Village of Lansing Trustees unanimously approved a new water billing structure Monday that may reduce water bills for residential customers.  The new Southern Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Water Commission (Bolton Point Water System) billing structure halves the quarterly water use minimum that many customers and municipal leaders said was causing households and businesses that do not use a lot of water to subsidize bigger businesses that do.

"It defines the minimum as, instead of 10,000 gallons per quarter, 5,000 per quarter," said Village of Lansing Mayor Donald Hartill.  "In the past, with the 10,000 minimum, when we determined the water rate for the coming year, that water rate was lowered by about 10% because of the subsidy provided by the 10,000 gallon minimum.  In round numbers, the 5,000 gallon minimum reduces the subsidy to 5%.  From my point of view this is a much fairer way to do it, rather than subsidizing big users it gives everybody an equal opportunity."

Hartill said the water commissioners approved the new pricing scheme at a meeting August 3rd.  Before the new rate calculation can go into effect, all five municipalities must approve it.  The commission is made up of Towns of Dryden, Ithaca, and Lansing, and the Villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights.

"The water rate approved last meeting was $4.93 per 1,000," said village Clerk Jodi Dake.  "At the new rate it's $4.96 per thousand -- that's based on the minimum of 5,000 gallons."

While the rate would be adjusted upwards, the lower minimum means lower bills for most residential customers.  This means that if you don't use much water you will not be paying more so that high volume water users can pay less.  Municipalities add their own charge to the Bolton Point charge in order to maintain the water infrastructure (water mains, water tanks, etc.) within their borders.  The minimum base charge for 2018 would be $24.80 per quarter for homes with a 3/4 inch meter. Under the current billing structure the minimum base quarterly cost in the Village of Lansing is $62.16, and $50.50 in the Town of Lansing.

Bolton Point has been replacing old water meters with new radio-enabled meters that wireless report usage.  For most homes the 'smart meters' eliminate the need for reading water meters and insures more accurate reporting.

Lansing Supervisor Ed LaVigne said that it will go before his town board at its August 16th meeting.  If passed by all five municipalities the new rates will go into effect next January.

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