Williston Park board raises water rates

As seen in The Island Now on December 11, 2018

The previous Williston Park water tower, which has been demolished. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

The Village of Williston Park Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved an increase in water rates ahead of the completion of the new water tower.

The rates overall will increase around 31 percent, as a result of the demolition of the old water tower and erection of a new one, projected to be complete by next  summer. The project will cost $7,344,000, according to the village.

The new residential rate is $5.14 per 1,000 gallons, up from $3.92 per 1,000 gallons effective in 2012. The residential minimum for the village was raised from $39.20 to $51.14 for 10,000 gallons or less.

The residential rate for every 1,000 gallons over 50,000 per quarter rose to $5.36 from $4.09. The commercial rate in the village is uniform at $5.67 per 1,000 gallons up to and exceeding 99,000 gallons.

The commercial rate for the Village of East Williston is $5.65 per 1,000 gallons.

Water rates are billed quarterly. The new rates will go into effect starting Jan. 1. There were no comments from the public regarding the new rates at the hearing.

The new rates are built on the full water rate update conducted in 2012 and maintain the same structure as that report, Michael Savarese, an Associate at D&B Engineers and Architects, said. Savarese consulted with the board on the newly established rates. A percentage increase was applied to residential and commercial customer classes, Savarese said.

D&B Engineering is also responsible for opening water tower interconnections with the Village of Mineola in September. A contract connecting the two water systems is in place until May 21.

The main purpose of the new rates, passed as village local law three at a public hearing, was to incorporate the bond debt service, or repayment of interest and principal, required for the new elevated tank, Savarese said.

The new water tower at Syracuse Street will have a capacity of nearly 500,000 gallons and stand 180 feet tall. If properly maintained, the new tower will last for a century, D&B Engineers and Architects Senior Vice President Bill Merklin has previously said.

Construction of the new tower is on pace, Department of Public Works Superintendent Keith Bunnell said. The village received its first shipment of steel for the new tower recently, he said.

Brian Rogan, a longtime village resident, was approved by the board to join the village Fire Department’s Company 1. Rogan was recommended by one former and one current fire chief from the village, Deputy Mayor Kevin Rynne said.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Paul Ehrbar encouraged members of the public to get involved with the village’s Operation Santa. Those interested in volunteering to be Santa or one of his helpers briefly on Christmas Eve to visit residents’ houses and deliver gifts to children can contact the village.

The board’s next public meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019, at 8 p.m.