Sewer rates to double

At its June 20 meeting, the Halfmoon town board voted to nearly double the yearly sewer rates paid to the Colonial Green Sewerage Disposal Corp. Inc. at its meeting June 20.

Councilman Walter Polak said that the increase in rates could not be helped because without it, the sewer system would fail.

The town had an obligation to the residents of that area to ensure that the sewer system works properly, he said.

Owner of Colonial Green Sewerage Disposal Corp., Jim Zalewski, said he needed the extra money because of several maintenance problems with the sewer system.

Zalewski said between 23 and 25 Bayberry Street, there is a drainage problem where water is getting sucked into the sewage line. On Cambridge Court, the pipeline needs to be fixed because things keep getting clogged in the line. Since the area has a high water level, residents have installed pipes to drain their yards, which Zalewski said are messing up the sewer systems.

The system was installed in 1965 and there has not been an increase in rates since that time. Zalewski is asking that the current rate of $82.43 after taxes be raised to $160.56 after taxes.

Colonial Green's annual revenues will increase from $12,447 to $24,246, and will give the company an annual profit of $3,240

instead of a $6,864 loss.

Town Attorney Lyn Murphy said Zalewski is entitled to ask for a rate increase every five years. Colonial Green's rates have never been increase since its installation.

Murphy said the increase in rates was not for profit, but to make sure the sewer system could function safely.

Some people in the town and town officials expressed their displeasure with the proposed rate increase at the meeting, saying that the town should not have to pay for Zalewski's bad investments.

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