WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS REQUIRE RATE INCREASE
Greenburgh Plans Major Upgrades to Aging Water Delivery System
Greenburgh residents who are in Suez district will pay more
GREENBURGH, NY_ DPW Commissioners along with consultant firm Raftelis made an important presentation to the Town Board and community December 8 outlining tiered increases in the water rates to pay for a five-year capital improvement plan.
To get a sense of the scope of Consolidated Water District #1: the town now has two interconnected pump stations, maintains 190 miles of water pipe served by six water tanks, all providing clean water to 40,000 residents. With the Rumbrook and Knollwood pump stations recently connected and achieving necessary redundancy, the town can now temporarily take offline and replace the very dated Knollwood Pump Station. Four of six water tanks have been repaired and painted in recent years, with the last two to go. Many water mains require replacing. And the town is now required to augment our disinfecting treatment system to comply with state and federal standards.
The various projects planned will greatly improve each critical element of the system, which citizens depend on for safe and reliable water. The Fairview Tank dates from 1925; the Knollwood Tank from 1928; many water mains are 70-90 years old and have never been upgraded. The nine-pump Knollwood Station was built in 1955 and last rehabbed in 1965, now “reaching the end of its useful life,” said Deputy Commissioner Brian Simmons. The station is “difficult and costly to maintain.”
Funding projects within the 53.8M capital plan will depend on a combination of grants, bonding, and raising consumer water rates by 8% in 2022, 7% in 2023, 6.5% in 2024, 5% in 2025, and 4.5% in 2026. Comparatively Greenburgh’s rates, even after these hikes, still skew on the lower end of our local region. While the cities of Rye and New Rochelle water rates for 2022 are $75.53 and $69.56 monthly, Greenburgh’s proposed rates would only be $38.98 monthly--also significantly lower than the Suez rate of $56.21. Suez serves some of Greenburgh - not all. What the proposed rate hikes mean for the median customer is a quarterly rate currently of $108 rising to only $117 in 2022, the year seeing the greatest increase.
The Greenburgh Water Advisory Board, volunteers overseeing these plans, approve the rate increase to pay for work they deem as critical and necessary. The Water Advisory Board has done a fantastic job in recent years helping the town upgrade our infrastructure. The infrastructure initiatives we have been taking are probably the most important actions we have taken. We have seen what happens when there are power outages and residents have no heat or air conditioning because of Con Ed outages. Having no water because we're not maintaining our infrastructure would be unacceptable.
Town Council member Ken Jones praised the recent achievement of connecting Rumbrook to Knollwood pump stations as “monumental.”
This complex engineering project completed in 2021 involved $8M in construction work in the vicinity of a New York City aqueduct, tunneling a portion of pipe under the Sprain Brook Parkway, installing over one mile of pipe through neighborhood streets, and creating several underground vaults with control equipment.
For more info on the Consolidated Water District capital plan and water rate changes, you can watch this portion of the Board meeting presentation here: https://youtu.be/oIiKtvGK_-4
Greenburgh Town Supervisor