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Water rates should benefit taxpayers, not county

To the Valley News:

The July 13 (Lewis) Town Board meeting regarding water sales to the county has left many people wondering why this was suggested by the town supervisor to capping the water rate at the 1 million-gallon rate.

For many years, the Lewis water district suffered many water pains from the lack of water to high water tax rates. The district of only 125 households couldn’t afford to fix the system by itself until the state granted the district a grant of $1.6 million to fix the system. Then the public safety building was constructed which has had a very positive outcome of revenue for the water district.

Now, only three years later, the supervisor wants to save the county $8,446 by asking the water district to pass along 800,000 gallons of free water to the county. This is more than what 125 households use in one year based upon an average daily use of 20,000 gallons for 365 days which is 730,000 gallons annually. This money of $8,446 should be used to eliminate the need to charge any water district resident the annual user fees. It could be used to eliminate the debt recently incurred for the most recent water project. The money could be saved for the future of the water district to drill new wells in case this should ever come to happen.

Thank goodness, Councilman Monty pointed out that if Mr. Blades used 1.8 million gallons of water would you be expected to pay the bill. The response was “no.” What I am looking at is just trying to bring something to the table that's going to help the taxpayers of the county. That’s all I’m doing. Why is the supervisor not trying to bring to the table things that will benefit the people here in the water district. Should the 125 households in Lewis be expected by the supervisor to save the county money? Mr. Blades made it quite clear he was speaking for himself and not for the county on this matter. Nothing like throwing your own constituents under the bus to save money for the county. To attempt to destroy a benefit enjoyed by the people in the water district simply undermines the willingness to improve the economic benefits water district residents are entitled to after years of suffering. I, for one, found it appalling to make such a remark. It may be time to start looking after the town of Lewis.

Anthony J. Glebus

Former Town Supervisor

Lewis

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