New Scotland’s Northeast Water District — correcting the record

ew Scotland has nine different water districts

— From the town of New Scotland

New Scotland has nine different water districts with a total of 858 customers. 

NEW SCOTLAND — Customers in the Northeast Water District have been receiving water from the village of Voorheesville since the end of November — but those users have yet to see an impact to their bills, as The Enterprise had previously reported

The town had to take the Northeast district offline after an unusually high master-meter reading.

The source of the high reading — a 4,000-gallon-an-hour leak — was a 3-foot-long vertical crack in the district’s 25-year-old underground 18,000-gallon fiberglass tank. At its monthly meeting on Jan. 8, the New Scotland Town Board approved $12,500 to fix the crack, a job that is expected to be completed by mid-February at the latest.

New Scotland sends out water bills twice a year — the usage periods cover roughly January through the end of June and July through the end of December; the village sends out an annual bill, every June 1.

So the rate that will appear on Northeast Water District users’ bills for July 2019 through December 2019 — even though customers have been receiving their water from Voorheesville since the end of November — is: $4.50 per 1,000 gallons for the first 30,000 gallons and $5 per 1,000 gallons for 30,001 gallons of water and over. 

The minimum amount that every Northeast customer is charged every six months is $135 (30,000 gallons/per 1,000 gallons = 30; $4.5 x 30 = $135) — even if a customer uses under 30,000 gallons in a six-month period, which is because New Scotland takes the cost of operating and maintaining each of its nine water districts and divides that cost across the town’s 858 water customers.

The $12,500 tank repair, for example, is considered a capital project, so that money will be paid back as part of Northeast customers’ annual tax assessment; the Northeast Water District is considered a special-use district, so only residents who get the special use — in this case, water; there are also special ambulance and fire protection districts — pay for it. 

 

127 = 1

Voorheesville is selling its water to the Northeast Water District at 1.25 times the rate it charges in-village customers — which is still considered a good deal; the village could charge double.

But the village isn’t selling its water to each of the 127 Northeast customers; rather, the district is being charged as a single customer because all of the water that is being purchased from Voorheesville comes through a single master meter. 

The village will send its bill to the town, which in turn will bill each of Northeast’s customers bi-annunally. 

At the start of this month, how the Voorheesville-related overages will be paid back had yet to be determined — and, as of this writing Northeast customers continue to pay their normal rates for water. 

But the 127 Northeast users will be responsible for any charges to the district. 

And it’s up to the New Scotland Town Board to decide how the Northeast Water District will pay back those overages. 

Restitution options include: a rate increase; taking money out of the district’s fund balance, which according to the town has about $16,000 in it; or borrowing the money from another fund, and paying back that loan with interest.

Normally, an individual customer who lives outside of the village would be paying Voorheesville double for water — $400 for the first 20,000 gallons of water and $6.50 per 1,000 gallons between 20,0001 and 70,000 gallons. 

As a single-entity user, the Northeast District Water will quickly work its way up Voorheesville’s pay-rate scale: 

— $250 ($200 x 1.25) for the first 20,000 gallons; 

—  $4.06 ($3.25 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 20,0001 and 70,000 gallons;

— $4.38 ($3.50 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 70,001 and 145,000 gallons; 

— $4.69 ($3.75 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 145,001 and 220,000 gallons; 

— $5 ($4.00 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 220,001 and 295,000 gallons;

— $5.40 ($4.50 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between between 295,001 and 370,000 gallons; 

— $6.25 ($5.00 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 370,001 and 445,000 gallons; 

— $6.88 ($5.50 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons between 445,001 and 520,000 gallons; and

— $7.50 ($6.00 x 1.25) per 1,000 gallons of water 520,001 gallons of water and over.

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