The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

November 28, 2012

Village may review water rates

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — Mayor Andrew Meier introduced a proposal Monday for a professional review of the myriad agreements between the village and water districts in the towns of Shelby and Ridgeway.

Although the village board agreed to not act on a village-initiated proposal from municipal consultant Paul Bringewatt until at least their Dec. 10 meeting, Meier said such a review is necessary to address rising administrative costs in the village’s water budget.

According to Meier, those costs have risen by more than $450,000 in the past decade. He added that Bringewatt’s review would cost $80 per hour, not exceed to $2,500; with the potential result being a negotiated rate increase for out-of-district users.

”It’s been a long time since we had a thorough review of all our rates,” Meier said. “With ten or eleven water districts in each town there are a lot of laws (to review).”

Meier said the village needs to understand how much of those additional costs are due to the districts that are served by Medina, which itself is a client of Niagara County.

”Are they directly traceable (to out-of-village districts)? No, but it contributed to the costs,” said Meier, who noted that any adjustment could be implemented before the village’s next fiscal year.

In other board actions, a series of five local laws were brought up for a public hearing before passing in quick succession Monday. The board approved rezoning three parcels in the village and amending two sections of the village’s codes.

The largest parcel rezoned was the Towne School Complex on Bates Road, which is being rezoned to allow the Medina Central School District to better market the closed primary school to businesses for lease. Such a move would have a positive impact on the village’s assessment roles, Village Clerk Peggy Crawley said.

Bates Road resident Richard Wakefield questioned the board on whether the rezoning would alter the 15 m.p.h. speed zone in front of the closed school. “It doesn’t make sense (to continue the reduced speed limit),” Wakefield said.

Meier said the village is reviewing who would initiate the change, as the village line runs along the road’s center.

Addition rezoning measures approved Monday connect the Acme Manufacturing Company’s canal-side property to the village’s downtown business district and brought a residential property out of an industrial zoning on Brown Street.

• The village is seeking to reduce the number of separate copier contracts for municipal departments.

The contracts for the Medina Police Department, Medina Fire Department and Village Clerk’s Office are all up for renewal. The village will request a proposal for all three from the provider of the police department’s copiers, which Meier said will hopefully be a cost-saving measure.