Water, waste and refuse woes in JC

By Erika Mahoney
By Samantha Sonner

April 10, 2014 Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 12:19 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Johnson City residents voiced their frustrations Thursday night over possible rate increases in the village.

Trustees held a public hearing to discuss potential increases for water, sewer and refuse rates, which could be adopted April 15.

Johnson City resident Andrew Holbert said the rate increases are too steep, and could be better managed.

"I'm young, I'm 27 years old," Holbert said. "I've been planning on living here the rest of my life, hopefully. And I don't really want two dollar increases every other year if it's possible."

Holbert said it seems like trustees are trying to make up for lost time; none of the rates increased last year despite proposals to do so.

"Last August, during the election, they decided to take off the rate increases. It seemed awful convenient," Holbert said. "It seems like we could have better management of taxes."

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie said there is no way around some increase in rates.

"We're a business, the village is a business," Deemie said.  "Costs go up, we have to take care of the costs as they go up. We have to find a way to pay for it. That's how these three funds are funded, through what we charge for the water, sewer, refuse."

Deemie added he hopes to implement smaller increases in the coming years rather than larger jumps, and is confident the current proposed rates will actually decrease by next week.

Proposed Rates:

Water (inside the village): $2.25 to $4.25 for every extra 100 cubic feet on top of base water allowance of 1,000 cubic feet, increasing base cost from $40 to $50

Water (outside the village): $3 to $5 for every extra 100 cubic feet on top of base water allowance of 1,000 cubic feet, increasing base cost from $40 to $50

Waste: $3.25 to $4.25 for every extra 100 cubic feet on top of 1,000 cubic feet allowed

Refuse: $62 to $72 for a single family residence and $104 to $124.80 for commercial properties.

If the rates are approved next week, residents would see the increase on their quarterly bills starting in July.

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