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Legislature Backs Town-Requested Water Rate Package: Rate Increase Funds Targeted Infrastructure Efforts

Author: Christian Peck/Wednesday, November 22, 2017/Categories: General, Legislature

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LOCKPORT—Niagara County lawmakers assented to a requested increase in 2018 Niagara County Water District rates sought by the town supervisor-controlled board tonight 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,” Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane, chairman of the Legislature’s Infrastructure and Facility Committee said. “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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