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Village of Lansing Mayor Donald Hartill explained to the Board of Trustees Monday the reasons approving a sewer rate hike, as well as giving a progress report on the new sewer that is expected to be constructed after this Winter on and around Cayuga Heights Road. Sewer users pay for two pieces of their sewer usage. First is a quarterly payment for the use of the Cayuga Heights wastewater treatment plant, and there is a Village of Lansing charge on top of that, which goes to pay for maintenance on Village sewer infrastructure.

"We are, by far, the biggest user of the plant," he said. "One of the things that's happening is that Borg Warner is learning how to recycle their water. They're one of our biggest producers for wastewater, so that's going to cut down our flow significantly coupled with the fact that Cayuga Heights is in the process of upgrading their plant. All of those things coupled together are bringing about this need for an increase in the sewer rate, which is a bargain in any case."

The charge for treatment plant usage was raised from $4.35 to $5.05/1,000 gallons used for treatment of waste water )originating from properties located outside of the Village of Cayuga Heights). There is a minimum charge of a minimum charge of twenty-five dollars and five cents ($25.05) per each individual multiple dwelling unit for each quarterly billing.

The Village of Lansing portion of the bill will now be $1.40 for each one thousand (1,000) gallons of water, or portion thereof, with a minimum charge of seven ($7.00) for each individual multiple dwelling unit for each quarterly billing.

Hartill said that the biggest reason for the Cayuga Heights portion of the rate rise is the upgrade to the plant. But he said that the reduction of waste water coming from Borg Warner will also contribute, because the company is one of the system's biggest customers. Hartill clarified that the Village of Lansing piece is for connecting village customers to the plant in Cayuga Heights, just north of the intersection of East Shore Drive (State Route 34) and Route 13.

"They basically use a single pass cooling system for their machine tools," Hartill explained. "What they will be doing in the future years is recycling that water so that it's used more than just once in their cooling system. They'll probably have a closed loop cooling system, and then there will be some wastewater from that. But it's much less than they're currently providing."

While it means a revenue loss in the short run, Hartill said that it might free up some sewer capacity that could potentially be reassigned to the Village or Town of Lansing. That would be of particular significance to the Town, which recently signed a sewer capacity agreement with the two villages that makes the Town's new Sewer District #1 possible. That project will spill into the new Cayuga Heights Road sewer in the Village of Lansing, to be passed through to the treatment plant.

The Cayuga heights Road project has been held up by the process of getting easements from landowners along the new sewer route. Hartill said there are two outstanding, and that one of them will require that the Village exercise its right of Eminent Domain.

"We're going to have to go to Eminent Domain, which I've avoided for the last 24 years," Hartill said. "The person owning it passed away. There are no relatives. The only way to get through New York state is to go through an eminent domain proceedings. And so that's, what's happening. We hope to have everything in place so that we can go out to bid by late December or early January."

Electronic flow meters are also being installed so the Village of Lansing can get accurate statistics on how much effluence it is actually sending to the Cayuga Heights plant. Hartill said it will also help identify inflow and infiltration problems (non-waste water flowing into the sewer system) and identify where the extra water is coming from so it can be fixed. The Town is installing similar meters. Village and Town of Lansing authorities are confident the new metering will help reduce the flow statistics, freeing more capacity as well.

The Trustees voted to raise the sewer rate for Village sewer users in a unanimous vote. Hartill also noted that the Village has the money for the project, so will not have to borrow money to complete it. Two key developers in the Town's new sewer district are contributing to the cost of the Village sewer, which is needed as the pass-through that effluent from the town can get to Cayuga Heights.

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