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West Carthage budget and water policy pass

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WEST CARTHAGE — The village board of trustees on Monday night passed a $1,441,176 budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year and an amendment to its water policy.

The tax rate for the fiscal year beginning June 1 is up slightly to $6.36 per $1,000 of assessed real property value. The 2013-14 rate was $6.25.

A transfer of line item costs for utilities from the general fund to the water and sewer fund means residents will see an increase in utility bills. Sewer will go from $5 to $5.73 per 100 cubic feet and water from $4.25 to $4.54 to distribute the costs for those services more evenly.

Mayor Scott M. Burto said that for a two-person household, this amounts to about a $17 quarterly increase. Citing neighboring municipality rates, he said the village rates are comparatively lower.

The water policy has been amended to include penalties and termination of service. If water charges are not paid within 30 days after the billing date, a 10 percent penalty takes effect.

What’s more, the board may order a water shutoff for delinquent payments. Even so, before services are discontinued, a written notice must be mailed to the property owner 15 days prior to the shut-off date.

Mayor Burto said the board is willing to work with residents, as it does not want to shut off water.

The need for a stricter policy was evident later in the meeting when the board approved the renewed levy of $32,000 of delinquent water billings throughout Jefferson County.

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