MASSENA - There will be a public hearing later this month on a proposed water maintenance fee increase that would be equal for all ratepayers in the town outside the village.
The Massena Town Council has voted to set a public hearing at its March 20 meeting on the establishment of a flat water maintenance fee of $3. After the hearing, town officials may vote on the proposed fee.
In September 2011, the town council voted to consolidate each of its nine water districts into one district, which wasnt to take effect until the start of this year.
Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the new fee would be an increase of about 50 cents over the average water maintenance fee, but pointed out maintenance fees vary among the areas that were once separate water districts. The fee increase is necessary because there has not been a maintenance fee increase for a long time, but the costs of that maintenance have increased, Mr. Gray said.
Whatever costs there will be to do maintenance on the new district will be shared among everybody, and this is a chance to cover increases in maintenance costs, Mr. Gray said.
The establishment of a single water maintenance fee will also help consolidate the activities of town officials and concerned taxpayers. The flat rate will do away with the need to hold a public hearing for each proposed maintenance fee increase, which could prove tiresome as there are currently separate fees for each of the former nine water districts in the town outside the village.