BALLSTON SPA: Village boosts water fees

Sewer rates in the village of Ballston Spa will soon be raised, but for the average customer, the $4 increase will be just a drop in the bucket.

Rates are calculated based on the number of gallons used by all water and sewer customers, starting with a minimum usage of up to 30,000 gallons, billed semi-annually.

The cost at this level was $20, and will now be $24 per billing period. For larger use customers, the fees will go up incrementally for other small increases. The average water and sewer customer falls within the 30,000-to-50,000-gallon range.

This marks the first time rates have gone up since 1989. Mayor John Romano said the increases are part of the business of running historic Ballston Spa.

We are a small village with a small tax base and little ability to expand that tax base, said Romano. "We also have an aging infrastructure, and our revenues lag far behind the cost of operations."

In fact, the village water and sewer system is 110 years old, Romano said.

"The pipes break, there is ongoing maintenance," said Romano.

Also at its Monday, July 2, meeting trustees amended the dumpster code enacted in 1997, which restricted trash collection between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Commercial solid waste management trucks will now be allowed to pick up trash in the business district once a week starting at 6:30 a.m.

The code was originally enacted in response to customers who said some companies picked up trash containers as early as 3 a.m.

"There were a lot of complaints about noise," said trustee Bob Cavanaugh. "You can't exactly blame people for wanting to sleep, but then again, the refuse companies need to be able to do their jobs."

The trustees moved up the pick-up time because with many of the stops located along Milton Avenue in the central business district, truck operators said they were having a hard time battling cars on the busy early morning commute up Route 50.

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