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A proposal to streamline village sewage system billing was discussed at length Monday night by the Depew Village Board.

Amid official concerns about plans to expand Sewer District 4, the board heard a proposal from Charles Alessi, a deputy commissioner of sewer management with the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, that might cut down on paperwork and possibly money.

Alessi said the district encompasses most of Depew, all of the Village of Lancaster and a good portion of the Town of Lancaster, and includes a line connecting to the County Home and County Correctional Facility in Alden.

"The way it works right now, we operate and maintain the sewer, and then charge users as if they were already in the district themselves," Alessi said. "What we have to do on an annual basis is to manually prepare a bill and then send all of these bills to the town. Then (the towns) have to send bills to the customers."

The result, he contends, is an inefficient, time-consuming system that creates a mountain of paperwork.

"What we're proposing is the inclusion of all properties that fall outside the geographical boundaries of the sewer system," Alessi said. "That way, all of those properties can be put on the tax roll so customers can get a bill automatically with their tax bill."

Alessi emphasized that an increase in efficiency might cut costs slightly.

Alessi noted that the county and the municipalities would have to work out a legal agreement before the proposed extension takes effect.

"By the same token, the proposal would have to be taken to the County Legislature for their approval," he said.

The Village Board has yet to agree to the proposal.

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