2017-06-14 / Front Page

Downsville Water Rates to Increase 43%

By Lillian Browne

COLCHESTER - Downsville water district users will see a sharp increase in their water bills, beginning with October’s bill. The Colchester Town Council voted unanimously, after lengthy assessment and discussion, to raise the base rate from $35 per quarter to $50 per quarter and to charge a flat rate of $3 for every 1,000 gallons of water used, at a meeting held on June 7.

Supervisor Art Merrill explained that the 221 water district users do not pay enough to pay for the operation of the water system. Each year, he said, money has been taken from reserve surplus to offset operating expenses. However, those funds are nearly depleted, he said. In order to ensure that the water district remains sustainable, rates must be increased.

The town’s three largest water users - the school, the fire department and the town, will also see an increase in their rates. The trio are currently charged a flat rate of $5,000 per year. Their rate will be increased to $6,000 per year.

The rate increase will take effect on July 1 and users will see the results of the increase in their October bill.

In other business:

• Dakota Fletcher was hired as a seasonal cemetery laborer at the rate of $9.75 per hour, with no benefits.

• The community pool is scheduled to open on June 26. Swimming lessons begin on July 5. For more information about lessons or to sign up call 607- 363-2400.

• Rebecca Reed, Kacie Banker, Corra Nocella, Gabrielle Ryan, Mollie Engle, Luccia Martucci, Kenzy Hammond and Mackenzie Burnham were hired as lifeguards for the 2017 season at the rate of $9.75 per hour. Carli Pinner and Rebecca Reed were hired as full-time lifeguards and water safety instructors at the rate of $10.65 per hour. Janice Stickle was reappointed as pool director at the rate of $12.90 per hour, for the 2017 season.

• A request to use Pepacton Park for parking for a Colchester Senior Citizens bus trip Aug. 22 and Sept. 13 were approved.

• The town clerk’s office will be closed on Tuesday, June 27 for training.

• Approval was granted to the Best Dam 5K Committee to hold the 2017 half marathon, 5K run and paddle on Sept. 30. Sarah Hood, representing the committee, requested that there be more of a police presence to help control traffic along the race route, from the Pepacton Dam on state Route 30 to River Road to Shinhopple. The race will start at 8 a.m.

• The board accepted the resignation of highway employee Arnold Sherwood effective October 10. Sherwood is a 30-year employee of the town. He will use accumulated sick and vacation time, beginning June 7. The town proclaimed June 5, 2017 as Arnold Sherwood Day, in his honor.

• To address future complaints about the cemetery not being maintained before Memorial Day, Councilmember Julie Markert asked that three employees be dedicated to the task next year.

• The council denied a request to use a town highway truck to haul sand for the Colchester Volunteer Fire Department waterline replacement project at Firemen’s Field.

• There was minimal discussion regarding implementation of police department policy that governs how far an officer is permitted to live outside the town and vehicle use.

• The town accepted the resignation of police officer Marina Begunoff.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Colchester Town Council will be held on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

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