At their February 26, 2013 meeting, the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees scheduled a public hearing for March 12, 2013 to receive public comment on a proposed local law establishing a Sanitary Sewer Fund and related fee to be included in the potable water bills.
The proposed sewer fee is based upon water consumption and recognizes the use of a portion of potable water for waste water proposes. Potable water is utilized as waste water in the toilet, shower, sink and other basins and, as such, drain’s to the Village’s sanitary sewer system. The proposed fee rate is $0.30 per unit of water, which is equivalent to 100 cubic feet or approximately 749 gallons. This fee would be assessed to all Village quarterly residential (5,400) and monthly commercial (200) water accounts, including all tax exempt properties.
Based on the average annual usage of 200 units, it is estimated that residential homeowners will pay roughly $60.00 per year and, based on the average annual usage of 1,200 units, it is estimated that commercial establishments will pay approximately $360.00 per year in sanitary sewer fees. For the 5,600 residential and commercial accounts, total annual revenue from the Sanitary Sewer Fee is estimated at $400,000.
This fee is proposed to address the necessary maintenance, repairs and improvements of the Village’s aging sanitary sewer system. The sanitary sewer system consists of 85 miles of sanitary sewer pipes, the majority of which were installed in the 1920s and 30s which now require an increasing amount of maintenance and repairs. This maintenance and repair work includes cleaning sewer lines of obstructions and televising to inspect for structural integrity, cracks, tree root infiltration and other problems. Compromised pipes are treated with a cured-in-place liner to extend their useful life or sections of pipe are removed and repaired as needed.
The Village spends roughly $300,000 annually in operating and capital expenses to operate, maintain and improve the sanitary sewer system. By establishing the Sanitary Sewer Fee a consistent and guaranteed amount of annual sewer work will be performed as funding for sewer maintenance and repairs would no longer compete with other worthy programs for annual tax generated General and Capital Fund appropriations.
In accordance with the New York State enabling legislation, fees collected through the sanitary sewer fee can only be used for sewer work.