McDonald water to raise rates 28 percent

McDONALD — Water customers here will likely pay 28 percent more for the service next year.

The increase is needed because of water loss caused by water line breaks and flushing to rid water of its discoloration, and because of a rate increase the village will see from Meander Water, which supplies bulk water to the village, said Mayor Glenn Holmes.

“We have been hesitant to pass on an increase in previous years with the village absorbing portions of the increase. We have had many waterline breaks  and flushing that has cost between $10,000 and $13,000 per quarter. When you have this continuing to happen over time, it adds up and will have to be reflected in the water bills,” Holmes said.

Village Council ap-proved first reading of legislation calling for the increase. The measure is expected to be approved in December.

The increase would be effective Jan. 1 and reflect water used from September to November. Rates would rise from $3.89 to $5 per 1,000 gallons used for residents and from $5.84 to $7.50 per 1,000 gallons for customers outside the village.

“We have been able to hold our rates as low as we have, but we just can’t anymore,” said Fiscal Officer Robin DeBow.

Officials reviewed the rates to determine what increase was needed to pay for what the village has assumed in recent years. Holmes said it’s painful to do this to customers, but “McDonald still has one of the lowest rates in the area.”

Only Cortland is less, he said.

Meander Water also supplies bulk water to Niles and Youngstown.

In Niles, residents will see increases in December. An increase of 15 cents will be used for operational expenses, while a fees of $5 for residents and $10 for commercial and industrial users will go toward capital improvements, said Mayor Tom Scarnecchia. The residential rate goes from $2.98 to $3.13 per 1,000 gallons of water.

Scarnecchia said the water department needs cash to address its aging water towers, troubled waterlines, broken fire hydrants and to install 5,000 water meters.