Penn Yan water rates to go down

Gwen Chamberlain

If the Penn Yan Village Board adopts the tentative budgets presented at its April 15 meeting, water rates will go down and sewer rates will go up in Penn Yan. The overall result will be savings for most rate payers.

At the same time, property taxpayers in the Benton and Jerusalem portions of the village will see a 1.25 percent reduction in their tax rate and taxpayers in Milo will see an increase of .76 percent.

According to an analysis provided by Village Clerk/Treasurer Gary Meeks, a user of 1,000 gallons of water will see a water bill reduction of about $58, and a sewer bill increase of about $21 for an overall savings of about $37.

Meeks says the rate changes will result from shifting some labor costs from the water budget to the sewer budget to more accurately represent where the employee costs are spent.

No one spoke during the public hearing on the proposed village budget, which will likely be adopted at a special meeting on April 28.

Finance Committee Chair Robert Church said when work began on the tentative budget, he asked department heads to find ways to reduce spending, and most of them came through. But overall, spending is increasing 5 percent or $262,951 to nearly $4.5 million.

The total amount to be raised by property taxes is nearly $2.8 million.

One of the largest spending increases is in street equipment, up $171,413.

While state retirement costs are declining by over $13,000, police retirement costs are increasing by over $26,000.

Debt service is being reduced by more than $39,000.

The total assessed property value used for apportionment is $177,361,962, distributed between:

• Benton: $17,156,440

• Jerusalem: $4,742,344

• Milo: $155,463,178

Other business on the village board’s agenda April 15 included:

• FESTIVAL: The board authorized the 7th Annual Keuka Arts Festival at the boat launch and along the Outlet Trail on June 14 and 15.

• PARADE: The annual Little League Parade will be held at 9:30 a.m. April 26 and go from the boat launch along Keuka Street and Elm Street to the Little League fields.

• CROP WALK: The board approved the CROP Walk to be held at 1 p.m. May 4.

• COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION: The board approved applications from Chris, Donald and Jeffrey Wright for loans and grants for improvements to 13 Main St. and 17 Main St.

• TREE TRIMMING BID: The board awarded a $81,020 bid for tree trimming to Birchcrest Tree and Landscape.

• SPONSORSHIP: The board authorized sponsorship for Katie Zebrowski for phase II of the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy.

• SPECIAL MEETING: The board scheduled a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. April 28 in the village hall. The budget will be adopted then.

• SLATE OF OFFICERS: The board approved the new slate of officers for the Penn Yan Fire Department: Fire Chief Jeff Housel and Second Assistant Chief Bill LaRock. The First and Third Assistant Chief posts are vacant.