Saugerties village officials are looking to revise an agreement with the Town of Saugerties for use of the village’s water system to feed the Glasco, Malden and King’s Highway water districts in the town.
Village trustee Jeff Helmuth said he hoped the village can come up with a more accurate way of gauging how much water town users are actually using when raising rates for the town for connection to the village water system. He told the village board at a recent meeting that such a revision has been in the works for many months. Progress has been slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trustees noted that it was the village that picks up the tab to build and fix the infrastructure. “We’re putting the money into the infrastructure, so they should be paying some for the maintenance,” trustee Terry Parisian said.
The present agreement allows the town to use an average of 650,000 gallons a day, according to village water and wastewater superintendent Mike Hopf. The system presently serves 1800 customers in the town and 1475 in the village, he said.
Readings on the town customers’ usage are taken weekly, he said, and a daily average can be calculated from by dividing it by seven days. The town averages about 550,000 gallons a day, well under the 650,000-gallon limit. The village uses about the same, he added. But there are at least four or five instances on hot summer days when the town customers exceed this amount.
The village’s water treatment plant on the Plattekill Creek in Blue Mountain can handle 1.8-million gallons a day and heavy rain events have pushed the plan to 1.5 to 1.6 million gallons a day in the past, Hopf said. There is a three-million-gallon storage tank in the system, but sometimes that gets overwhelmed.
Hopf expects demand to increase in the future with several new projects in the works in the town, like the Wildwyck resort in the Glasco Water District. Helmuth said that’s on top of a new senior housing complex at the old Dominican Sisters property just over the town line in Barclay Heights. That facility is estimated to use upwards of 20,000 gallons a day.
There were plenty of suggestions, all in the same direction:
Hopf said officials could consider requiring new developments to have an on-site tank that could handle an average day’s water usage.
Village mayor Bill Murphy said he’s for increasing the rate the town pays in any new agreement. And should the increase be put in place, it would be up to the town to decide how to absorb the increased cost and decide whether they want to pass them on directly to users in the district.
Parisian suggested a surcharge on the town for overage instances, Helmuth called for more accurate readings — perhaps a meter that could take daily readings Town users should pay more, trustee Don Hackett said.