Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 1, 2013

Proposed budget holds tax rate steady in Village of Lewiston

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "We're going to continue to improve our infrastructure as more funds become available," he said.

Though the budget includes both water and sewer funds, increasing the village's total spending to $3.3 million for 2013-14, those categories are financed through their own charges and surcharges as the village pays the Niagara County Water Department for its water service and the Town of Lewiston for sewer.

But when the village holds its next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, April 15, it'll begin with a public hearing to possibly decrease those rates for all village residents starting with the upcoming July bills.

Trustees Nicholas Conde and Dennis Brochey spearheaded an effort to investigate the charges while the village was negotiating with the town concerning control of village water. Throughout February, the trustees said, they worked to cut as many costs from as many areas as possible to find a way to reduce the water bills for each resident.

"When we were running, that's one of the things we heard all the time," Conde said. "When we were looking at consolidating with the town, we found places where we could cut. Not big cuts, but we were able to reduce."

Trustees are proposing a $3.49 per 100 cubic feet for water – six cents less than the current price – and $4.59 per 100 cubic feet for sewer, also a six cent reduction.

The changes also affect a $5 surcharge, created to support water and sewer improvements, which will be removed also starting July 1.

Brochey said the village can afford to make the changes today, but could pass along additional savings as the infrastructure is fixed throughout the village in the coming years.

"We came up with a plan so the rates will work," he said. "We also developed a five year plan. If we can get some of the lines fixed up, there's going to be great savings to the residents. When less water is lost, there's less money paid."

Big Red Number $7.12 Tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value to help fund $2.5 million in spending for the Village of Lewiston's 2013-14 budget

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