Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 20, 2012

6 percent water rate hike sought

Niagara Gazette —

The Niagara Falls Water Board will hold a public hearing today on budget issues that will drive up rates.

The board will hear public input on its tentative budget, which will raise ratepayers' bills by 6 percent over the 2012 numbers, the result of a decrease in funds from a settlement between the city and Occidental Chemical, an increase in employee pensions and increases in costs related to health care benefits for employees, according to board officials.

The board is facing a decrease of $1.3 million in funds from the Occidental Chemical settlement with the city, which will pay out $500,000 to the board in the final year of the 20-year agreement.

“This is a conservative budget that includes a very necessary rate increase to help offset the drastic decrease in the Occidental Chemical payment,” Paul Drof, the executive director of the water board, said. “In addition to the decrease in the Oxy payment, other financial pressures outside of our control such as increased state pension costs for employees, declining consumption and vital infrastructure upgrades are what made this budget very challenging.”

Drof said that water board members, members of the water board's finance committee and staff members worked hard to bring the rate increase, which will cost the average rate payer about $20 a year, down from to 8.5 percent increase that was submitted a month ago to the 6 percent number that is now proposed.

“We have and continue to do everything under the water board’s control to cut costs and improve efficiencies and pass those savings on to ratepayers,” Drof said.

There are also a pair of resolutions on the agenda for the water board meeting that could affect the tentative budget, one to create a new position and one to reestablish a position.

Ted Janese, the chairman of the water board, said that declining population and debt service payments from infrastructure improvements are also reasons for the rate increases.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results