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BATAVIA DELAYS CALL TO INCREASE WATER RATES 14% HIKE, SECOND IN 9 MONTHS, IS RECOMMENDED BY ENGINEERING FIRM

The City Council Monday night unanimously tabled a resolution that would have increases water rates a second time in nine months.

The action delays for at least two weeks a 14 percent hike that would be effective Jan. 1 and would appear in residents' quarterly statements April 1.

City Administrator William Reemtsen said the delay may result in a deficit in the department's 1991-92 budget that becomes effective April 1. Black & Veach Engineers, a Missouri firm, recommended a new rate schedule to cover rising costs, including operating costs and debt service.

The report said that without an increase in revenue the city may have to "reduce service to avoid a deficit."

The basic increase would be to $1.48 per 1,000 gallons from $1.30. A 12 percent boost was approved by the Council last April.

In another matter, the Council split along party lines on appointments to 10 city advisory boards and committees. The appointments, many involving incumbent members, drew fire from Councilman at large William J. Fava, a Democrat.

He accused the six-member Republican majority of "selections detrimental to the participation of new interested people with new ideas."

Council President Paul J. Weiss observed that "if the worm turns, we will be fair." He was apparently referring to this year's election of six ward Council members.

The current three members of the Democratic minority defeated three Republican at-large members in November 1989.

Most appointments this year have been on similar 6-3 votes, bypassing nominations by the Council Democrats.

The Council accepted a compromise settlement of $93,878.63 plus interest from Genesee County Video Corp.

The dispute centers on an agreement that the cable company pay a city franchise fee of not less than 3 percent of gross revenues plus an added percentage point should the state Commission on Cable Television reduce its fees below 2 percent.

The Town of Batavia is also seeking added revenue following a drop in the late 1980s in the state cable fees.

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