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Proposed changes to fee structure for water & sewer hook ups include discount for village properties

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MASSENA — When the Village Board was discussing the proposed changes to its fee structure for water and sewer hookups last month, Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld said he wanted to make sure there was a benefit to hooking into the system as a village resident.

Mr. Ahlfeld, who serves on the water and sewer committee with Patricia K. Wilson, said Tuesday night the proposal as it stands says property owners hooking up within the village will pay 50 percent of the actual costs, while property owners connecting to the system from outside the village will be required to pay 100 percent of the project’s cost.

Mr. Ahlfeld said the updated proposal has been forwarded to Village Clerk Patricia M. Dumas and should be ready to discuss at the next meeting.

Trustee Frances J. Carvel, who has been outspoken against the change, said the new fee structure, which must be adopted as law to take effect, amounts to a 400 percent increase.

“So you’re saying it’s going to go up about 400 percent?” Mr. Carvel asked, citing a sample bill that was roughly $6,000 for a hookup that was done before 2010, when the village adopted its current fee structure.

The proposed law charges property owners $500 for a water or sewer connection if the hookup is on the same side of the road as the lateral, $750 if the connection is in the middle of the road and $1,000 if the connection is on the opposite side of the road.

“It’s going up to the price we’re legally bound to charge,” Mr. Ahlfeld said.

Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad said while the bill referred to by Mr. Carvel was about $6,000, a typical bill is in the $1,800 range.

Mr. Ahlfeld said “actual costs” will be calculated using only man hours plus the cost of equipment.

“There will be no administrative fees,” he said.

Should trustees agree to move forward, a public hearing on the proposed law could be held next month.

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