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Sewer Authority holds line on fees

City residents and other customers of the Buffalo Sewer Authority would see no rate increases under a proposal unveiled Wednesday.

Sewer fees are based on both use and property values, and the use rates would not rise for the fiscal year starting July 1.

This would be the seventh straight year with no rate increase.

The average property owner will continue to pay between $400 and $500 a year, depending on assessed value of their property, said authority General Manager David P. Comerford.

The ongoing addition of energy efficiencies to the city's system was hailed as a primary reason the authority was able to hold the line on the rate, Comerford said.

Last month, the authority approved a $53.8 million preliminary budget for 2012-13, which carried an overall increase in spending of about 2.6 percent.

The proposed rates can officially be adopted after a 30-day public comment period on the proposal. Once that period expires, the authority can formally adopt its new budget.

For the current fiscal year, rates were reduced by 1 percent from the previous year.

In addition to city residents, the Sewer Authority allows facilities outside the city to connect to its system.