Overall sewer costs for Town of Lancaster and Village of Depew residents will decline next year, while Lancaster Village residents will see a slight increase.
Robert Giza, Lancaster town supervisor and chairman of Erie County Sewer District No. 4, shared information this week showing that while certain sewer fees are rising, few single-family home residents will feel the pinch.
Sewer charges are composed of a three-part formula: a flat, per-unit fee; a rate per $1,000 of assessed home value; and in the Town of Lancaster, a property footage charge typically based on lot width, said Tom Whetham, deputy commissioner of the county's Division of Sewerage Management.
Next year, all single-family homeowners will see a $15 increase in their flat, per-unit sewer fee, from $150 to $165. But that increase is being offset in the villages of Lancaster and Depew by a decline of 13 to 18 cents in the sewer rate per $1,000 for those areas.
Lancaster village residents with an average $100,000 home should see a $1.40 annual increase in their 2008 sewer costs.
Depew residents will see a decline in average sewer costs, though an exact figure is not yet available because the county hasn't updated its assessment figures to reflect a rise in home assessment values for 2007.
Town of Lancaster residents, meanwhile, will not only see a rise in their per-unit fee, but also a rise in their sewer rate per $1,000, up from 26.75 cents to 37.1 cents, based on an average assessed home value of $120,000.
Town Assessor Christine Fusco said that single-family home assessments for 2007 have risen to $165,000. Whetham said that if the town's average assessment figure has risen, the county will correspondingly lower the sewer tax rate, so town residents will likely experience a smaller rate hike.
The sewer district's property footage charge has also been cut in the Town of Lancaster to offset the rise in other sewer fees.
The bottom line is, in most cases, Lancaster residents will see an average annual sewer fee decline of at least a few dollars, with greater savings seen by those with bigger properties.