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Ashford board discusses water district billing

ASHFORD—The Ashford Town Board gave an update on the West Valley Water District and discussed billing during the May 10 meeting.

Ashford Supervisor Charles Davis said training is underway to have multiple people certified in the town to read the water meters quarterly within the water district and are continuing to work on all the upcoming work to get the water district fully operational in all facets.

“We are slowly working on all of these things that we never knew about,” Davis said. “But we are working through all of the things that we got to do as a municipal water system.”

With the billing, Davis and board member Jean Bond brought up an idea to help simplify their first time billing process. Davis said the repayment on the loan comes out to around $30,000 per year and there are 199-meter pits within the town. With the current plan, certain land owners are paying different prices toward the debt service depending on the kind of property, whether it has a meter and whether the land is developable or undevelopable. Dividing the $30,000 by the number of meter pits would come to around $37, which Davis and Bond are suggesting everyone with a meter pit pays toward the debt service.

“My contention is that it didn’t cost any more money so for simply the debt reduction, nothing to do with maintenance or repairs or water usage, I believe it should be one unit is one meter,” Bond said.

While Davis said they were not going to decide to this at the meeting and this was just brought up for discussion, board members John Pfeffer and Richard Bernstein expressed their doubts for the idea and want to see more information before they make any kind of decision to move forward.

“I think it goes to the same way taxing is developed … the way you pay taxes on your property is based on the value of our property so the way we should be paying back to debt for this, I think it should be tied to this,” Pfeffer said.

Davis reported residents on Rock Spring Road are upset about a Verizon mini cell tower and poles being installed along the road. With the tower and poles being in the town's right-of-way, Pfeffer questioned whether they had the right to install this in their right-of-way without the town granting an easement, and will call the Public Service Commission to answer their concerns.

In other board news:

– The board held a public hearing about establishing a local law to establish the position of town constable and enumerate the duties of the position and later approved to adopt the local law.

– The board gave an update on the town becoming a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Clean Energy Community. The town just needs to finish up the training with Code Enforcement Officer Larry Feldman and if Ashford were to receive the $50,000 grant, Davis said it would go toward putting solar panels on the roof of the highway barn to help cut energy costs.

The next Ashford Town Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ashford Community Center, located at 9377 Route 240, in West Valley.

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