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Greenburgh Raises Consolidated Water District Rate

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – For the second time in two years, town water rates will be on the rise.

Citing the need to close a growing budget deficit, Greenburgh Town Council members unanimously approved an increase to the Consolidated Water District Tuesday night.

The move will increase the average user’s bill 24 percent, or nearly $70 per year.

“We have to bite the bullet and be responsible,” Supervisor Paul Feiner said.

After a five year reprieve from any increases, this is the second consecutive year that Greenburgh’s Consolidated Water District customers have been hit up for extra cash.

Last year, property owners saw rates spike 70 percent. This time, the average bill is expected to rise from roughly $72 to $89 per quarter.

Larger customers, including the Coca-Cola bottling plant, will see an even larger jump - from $265 to $360 every four months.

While the exact amount of the district's debt remains unclear, there is no doubt it needs to be addressed, officials said.

Rising expenses, repayment of past obligations and future projects demand the board act immediately, Feiner said.

“If we don’t raise rates today the water district will see its debt increase and it’s going to be worse,” he said.

But should additional funding become available in the future, in the form of state aid, the town may reevaluate the rate changes, Feiner said.

Currently, prices are projected to rise another 10 percent in 2013.

Members of the Edgemont Community Council, however, urged the town to develop a five-year plan and outline how it will handle the debt and any future capital improvement projects.

“Put these facts out there so the public knows what we are facing so there are no unfair surprises, so that commercial establishments in this town can budget accordingly going forward,”  Edgemont resident Robert Bernstein told the board.

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