Johnson City Sewer Increase Passes in Narrow Vote
Sewer rates are going up in Johnson City partially due to the expensive repairs and upgrades at the joint sewage treatment plant. The Village Board approved raising the amount customers pay over the baseline fee in a vote of 3-2 with Mayor Greg Deemie (R) and Trustee Ben Reynolds (D) voting against the increase as proposed.
The minimum quarterly basic fee is for up to 1,000 cubic feet, and comes in at $55. Mayor Deemie says that applies to the majority of single-family residential users. He says the larger increases will land on the doorstep of landlords, some of whom have contacted his office to say they don't know how to pay for an increase since the pandemic has put the brakes on collection of past-due rent and evictions due to COVID-19 hardship issues.
Usage rates for 1,001-5,000 cubic feet is now $10 over the minimum per 100 cubic feet of water supplied. That's $2.75 more per 100 cubic feet. 5,001 to 10,000 cubic feet users will pay $11.00 over the minimum, an increase of $3.75 per 100 cubic feet of water supplied. For every 100 cubic feet of water supplied to those using over 10,000 cubic feet, the rate becomes $12, which is an increase of $4.75 per 100 cubic feet of water supplied.
The billing rates become effective with the next regular billing cycle.
Mayor Deemie says he was more inclined to support a $5 increase to the base $55 fee while Trustee Reynolds took issue with where the increases fell in the billing cycle.
Last week, Town of Binghamton officials sent notices to some 900 customers warning them that their water and sewer fees would be going up substantially due to the costs at the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant in Vestal, which is used by several municipalities through the region. Town residents were informed their bills will show a 36 percent increase in sewer charges and a 25 percent increase in water charges.
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