By Stephen E. Lipken
James Nytko, Vice President, Capital Markets Advisors, LLC, Hopewell Junction, NY appeared at the Thursday, December 6th Harrison Town/Village Board meeting, commissioned by the Town to assist in establishing a sewer rent fee; Proposed Local Law Amending Chapter 228, adding Article II, “Sewer Rents.”
“Article 14-F of the General Municipal Law, otherwise known as the ‘Sewer Rents Law,’ authorizes the imposition of sewer rents as a means of raising funds to operate, maintain and repair a municipal sanitary sewer system…”
Nytko said that an equitable water rate structure should be predicated on usage, billed during the non-irrigating months, January through May. The total of 2019 Applicable Sewer District Costs, $1,196,894, divided by Adjusted Water Sales of $1,032,074,667 is 0.0011596 per gallon/year. “For the average residential consumer using 114,000 gallons of water each year the estimated annual sewer rent would be $132.19 or $11.02 per month.”
Resident Robert Porto raised questions. Mayor Ron Belmont replied that Moody’s gave Harrison a “AAA” Rating.
Trustee/Councilman Fred Sciliano countered that DPW was doing a “yeoman’s job” repairing the roads. Mayor Ron Belmont added that Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and “Save the Sound” mandated the Town to clean and repair their 100+-year old sewer system and borrow $5,000,000 to film and study the 27-square miles of sewer pipes.
Trustee/Councilman Stephen Malfitano explained that the Town was not creating an additional tax levy but substituting the current sewer tax for a sewer rental fee based on consumption. The Sewer Rent Local Law was unanimously approved by Roll-Call Vote.
Treasurer Maureen MacKenzie reported that the Real Property Assessed Valuations decreased from $130,327,405 in 2018 to $130,323,905 for 2019, by $3,500. Tax Levy Rate increased by 2.941%, under the Tax Cap by $200,000.
A Roll Call Vote approved the Budget.