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Fredonia trustees OK hikes in water, sewer rates

FREDONIA – Hikes in water and sewer rates were approved Tuesday following public hearings before the Fredonia Village Board.

The rate for 1,000 gallons of water goes from $3.02 to $3.52. There is a $25 base charge on each quarterly water bill, in addition to the metered charge for water usage. The new rate will apply for water used after June 1. Sewer rates will increase from $4.15 to $5.07 for each 1,000 gallons.

Trustee Marc Ruckman voted against both resolutions for the higher costs for water and sewer rates.

Also Tuesday:

• Trustees heard a proposal for modernization at the wastewater treatment plant. The facility is currently able to operate at one-half of its previous capacity due to the decreased amount of waste since the closing of the Carriage House Facilities in Fredonia. The company was a large, private-label food product producer and was closed after it was purchased by ConAgra. The improvements at the wastewater plant are expected to reduce electricity costs, as well as improve the functions of the processing. The village expects to save about $70,000 annually in utility costs.

• Village Clerk and Administrator Richard St. George gave trustees an update on the 2014-15 budget, which closes May 31. He said the general fund will be within $15,000 of revenues. He also said the highway budget was about $22,000 underfunded due to the cost of road salt, and that the state provided $20,000 in emergency funding for the community.

• The board agreed to have open interviews for candidates who are interested in filling the vacancy created when Trustee Janelle Subjack resigned. Village Attorney Sam Drayo agreed to give the trustees a decision on whether the interviews could be held in an executive session. A new trustee is expected to be appointed by July.

• Drayo told the board he had questions about the proposed Northern Chautauqua County Water District. Questions about the agreement are scheduled to be sent to the county executive and county attorney by June 4.