JAY — With a new sewer rate set to go into effect July 1, property owners will pay approximately $9.50 for every $100,000 of assessed property value for the operation and maintenance of the Sewer Department in fiscal year 2017-18.

That compares to $21 per $100,000 of value this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

It is a 55 percent reduction in operating costs funded through general taxation, Superintendent Mark Holt said Tuesday. Currently any operating and maintenance costs not covered by sewer users is paid for through general taxation as is debt service.

The new rate is $315 for up to 3,200 cubic feet of water and 9 cents per cubic foot above that.

For a household or business that uses 3,200 cubic feet or less, the sewer fee will be $315, $40 more than the current rate, Holt said.

The current sewer rate is $275 for up to 3,200 cubic feet of water and 8 cents for any amount above that.

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Selectpersons directed Holt this past winter to raise sewer fee revenue by $54,000. He developed eight options for the board to consider and was willing to make more, if necessary. The new rate is expected to raise $470,500, compared to $414,100 this year.

In 2017-18, the sewer fees will pay for approximately 89 percent of the operation and maintenance of the Sewer Department, compared to 77 percent under the current rate, Holt said.

The sewer rate increase means a household or business using 4,000 cubic feet of water will pay $387. For those who use 5,200 cubic feet, the fee will be $495. For those who use 8,000 cubic feet, the fee will be $747, and for 12,000 cubic feet, the fee will be $1,107.

Selectpersons have been raising the sewer rate gradually since July 1, 2011, when the board changed the calculation method from one based on each unit to one based on water consumption.

The idea behind the new calculation was to charge those who use the sewer system more to pay more and those who use it less to pay less, Holt said.

Over 62 million gallons of wastewater was treated this fiscal year at a cost of $541,020, making the cost of treatment 0.87 cents per gallon, he said.

“If you go to your local convenience store and buy a 20-ounce bottle of water, it will cost you 99 cents, which equates to $6.34 per gallon,” Holt said.

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