Penn Yan increases water, sewer rates

Gwen Chamberlain

The Penn Yan Village Board unanimously agreed to increase water and sewer rates for customers both in and outside the village, after two public hearings May 20.

The water rates have increased to $3.80 per 1,000 gallons of water used up to 5,000 gallons, inside the village. That reflects a 30 cent increase. The new similar rate for customers outside the village is now $5.98, up from $4.98.

Based on current use, the new water rate should bring in an additional $45,000 annually. One village resident, Wayne Davidson, commented during the public hearing, encouraging the village to change billing procedures to eliminate flat customer charges.

The sewer rates have increased to $4.50 per 1,000 for up to 5,000 gallons inside the village, up from $4.20. A comparable rate for service outside the village is $5.95, up from $5.65.

Customers also pay a service charge of $12 inside the village and $15 outside the village for both water and sewer service.

During a general discussion about water and sewer operations, Finance Committee Chair Bob Church reported 235 surveys are still needed to apply for a small cities grant for next year. The board was able to secure enough income surveys to apply for a $300,000 grant for work planned in the Brown Street area.

Other agenda items covered by the village board May 20 included:

• Municipal Utilities Budget: After Trustee Rich Stewart pointed out differences in figures in municipal utility budgets adopted by the board and the budgets that had been presented to the public, Mayor Douglas Marchionda Jr. suggested the budgets be returned to the Municipal Utilities Board.

•Blues Festival: Bob Champlin, owner of Lloyd’s Limited, received unanimous approval of his plans for this year’s July 26 event.

• No Bed Tax Signs: In response to a question from village resident Barb Stewart, Attorney Ed Brockman explained small temporary signs, including the ones found around town regarding the Yates County Occupancy Tax are protected as long as the issue in question is before the public. He said the only legitimate restriction on political signs is if they block sidewalks.

• Cruisin’ Night: The board unanimously approved a request from the Yates Chamber of Commerce to hold Cruisin’ Night on Friday, June 20.

•Concession Stand: The board unanimously authorized the mayor to sign an agreement allowing ReMax to post signs on the concession stand at the Elm Street Sports Complex after the company replaces the roof.

• Guns: The board unanimously agreed to declare some hand guns as surplus equipment and authorized Police Chief Gene Mitchell to advertise the guns for sale to licensed firearms dealers.

• Shared Services: Church reported the steering committee working on the shared services committee will hold public meetings on June 10.

• Watkins Glen International: The board approved a motion permitting off duty village police officers to work at Watkins Glen International as sworn officers with Schuyler County.

• Parking: The board tabled action on a request from the Yates County Board of Elections to permit parking on Court Street during elections. Trustee Nancy Taylor, who is also a legislator, said she wants the issue to be discussed by the government operations committee at the county level.

• Trees: Streets Superintendent Randy Jensen announced there are a variety of trees available for property owners to plant in the village. Village workers can deliver the trees to village properties, but the property owner is responsible for planting them. They may be planted anyplace on the property except between the street and sidewalk. For details, call the village office at 315-536-3015.