High Falls Water District's base rate could rise 25%

Daily Freeman-11 months before

The new base rate would $75 per quarter for the first 5,000 gallons of use, up from the current rate of $60.

For use above 5,000 gallons per quarter, the new rate would be $12 per 1,000 gallons, up from the current $8.

“The rates haven’t been increased in about 10 years,” Marbletown Supervisor Richard Parete said. 

“Most people are just going to pay that $15 a quarter extra,” he said, noting that only "high users in the district ... are going to go over that 5,000-gallon charge.”

Parete said rates in High Falls Water District, which is partly in R...sendale and partly in Marbletown, have held steady for the past decade despite a 75 percent increase during that time in the amount charged to the towns by New York City, which supplies water to the district via its Catskill Aqueduct.

The rate hike is necessary, Parete said, because the district's capital reserve fund is down to "only about $80,000," an amount that's not enough to cover upcoming expenses.

“We spent $60,000 to have new filters installed. ... We’ve spent about $42,000 for meters, and we don’t have money to install the meters,” he said.

Parete noted the previous filters had a 10-year life expectancy while the new ones have a 20-year expectancy.

The High Falls Water District has 162 customers in Marbletown and 40 in Rosendale. The Town Boards of both communities must approve any rate hikes.

The district was established in 2007, some 13 years after contamination of private wells was traced to the use of chemical solvents on a Mohonk Road property. The site had been used from the early 1960s until 1992 for the manufacture of cash register parts, computer frames, card punch machines and store display fixtures, among other things.

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