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Niagara County Legislature backs town-requested water rate package

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Wed, Nov 22nd 2017 11:25 am
Rate increase funds targeted infrastructure efforts
By Christian W. Peck
Niagara County Public Information Officer
Niagara County lawmakers assented to a requested increase in 2018 Niagara County Water District rates sought by the town supervisor-controlled board Tuesday after members of the Water District's board made clear current rates would not sustain planned infrastructure upgrades.
Most district customers will see their water rates increase 15 cents per 1,000 gallons.
The resolution - introduced at the legislature's Oct. 17 meeting - raises rates to 90 cents per 1,000 gallons for residents and corporations in the district, and $1.80 per 1,000 gallons for entities located outside the district. That's up from 75 cents and $1.50, respectively.
"We supported this resolution, sought by our town governments, because we back the Water District's long-term plans for infrastructure upgrades to benefit the region," said Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane, chairman of the legislature's infrastructure and facility committee. "As our region's economy grows and population shifts eastward and northward, the stress on our existing water delivery infrastructure is not insignificant."
The resolution was requested by the water board, which is controlled by the supervisors of towns within the Water District, after a formal vote by that body.
Syracuse's infrastructure committee introduced the legislation in October to address long-term considerations impacting economic development and residential trends in the region.
"With growth of our region, we need to make sure water lines laid down decades ago can handle the consumption that is anticipated," Syracuse said. "We're making sure that the county's infrastructure is sufficient for challenges stretching out to 2050 and beyond."
The Water District's rates remain significantly lower than many surrounding municipalities.

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