Alexandria, Alexandria Bay discuss water rate formula change

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — Alexandria town officials and their counterparts in the village of Alexandria Bay are debating the rate formula used by the village for the water it supplies to the town.

The disagreement comes as the village informed town officials of its intent to increase rates for several of the town’s districts, according to Supervisor Brent H. Sweet. In the Redwood water district, the new formula would lead to a 55 percent increase in rates, from $3.37 per 1,000 gallons of water to $5.25.

When it came to the village’s proposal, Mr. Sweet said, “the formula they’re using is not the correct formula.”

He argued that the town and village set a rate formula in 2005 that would last until 2042, the length of financing for the district.

“We said we will follow that formula until that debt is satisfied,” Mr. Sweet said.

Mr. Sweet noted the Redwood sewer district is also expecting a rate increase, following the completion of a state Comptroller’s Office audit of district finances.

“That’s why we’re doing whatever we can to help the residents and taxpayers deal with this situation for both sewer and water,” Mr. Sweet said.

Village Mayor Steven E. Jarvis said Thursday that trustees Julia A. Erck and Mark H. Reynolds are currently reviewing the town’s arguments and the contract signed between the two municipalities.

“At this point, they’re still doing their investigation as to what the contract was back in 2005 when that was first written,” he said.

The two sides will get together to continue their discussions about the rate formula.

In other town business:

The Alexandria supervisor position has changed from full-time to part-time as Mr. Sweet takes over for longtime supervisor Dale Hunneyman. Mr. Sweet will receive an overall salary of $12,000 for his role as supervisor and town budget officer. Mr. Hunneyman’s salary was $43,000 per year for serving full time in the two roles.

Michael Fayette was selected to fill the council seat of Thomas E. Petrie, who resigned at the Town Council’s December meeting. He will serve in the role until elections are held in November.

A decision about filling the council seat left by Mr. Sweet will be made at the council’s Jan. 17 meeting.

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