By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — The Town of Ridgeway unanimously passed a bond resolution Monday night to establish Water District 12. In doing so, 31 land parcels in the town will soon be provided water.
The costs associated with creating the water district include a handful of one-time fees in the first year. Those fees are the installation of the service line from the right of way to a house, internal plumbing changes, and a new water meter. In total, those fees plus the first year debt service bring the water costs to about $1,430.
Project manager Paul Chatfield of Chatfield Engineers gave a presentation on the water district to interested residents at Monday night’s public hearing on the subject. He explained how all the people in the district will have the option of tapping into the system.
According to town officials, Water District 12 will include 16,400 feet of eight-inch water main on Angling, Ramshaw, and Bates Roads. Officials also noted that those who choose not to get town-provided water will still have to pay the debt service in the district.
Annually, a residence’s water bill after the first year will be based on usage.
The total project cost is $850,000, with Rural Development picking up $400,000 of the bill. The town’s portion will be paid back over time at an interest rate of less than two percent. Chatfield was asked whether the rate was fixed or variable. His response was that Rural Development adjusts its rates quarterly, and the interest rate he quoted was likely higher than the number Rural Development quoted. He said the higher number took the rate adjustments into account.
In describing the Bates Road portion of the district, Chatfield explained how the main will south off Portage Road towards and across the Erie Canal. One homeowner was curious why Water District 12 could not extend a bit farther to include his home, and it was noted that the district would then increase in total area, which would increase the service charge, which would in turn affect the amount of the Rural Development grant money.
Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian Napoli told the homeowner that plans for Water District 13 were already in the works and his own could possibly be included in the next go around.
Another topic brought up with Chatfield was whether it would behoove those installing the new water main across the Erie Canal to go above it with a heated pipe rather than under it.
“If you go under the Canal, it is far more difficult to maintain it and clean it out, but if the pipe is above ground it is far more easily accessible and reparable,” said Roy Cook.
Chatfield said digging under the Erie Canal is common practice, and one he supports.
“I believe in my professional opinion that it’s in the town’s best interest to put it under the Canal,” he said. “If you look at other crossings within this whole general area, they’re all underground crossings.”
Napoli added, “Another advantage of going under the Canal instead of over it is that we’re not responsible for a new pipe on an old bridge that the state could close.”
Cook also asked about eliminating dead ends in the water mains, and Chatfield agreed that it is a good idea to do so when the situation warrants it. However, he said in Water District 12, and in rural areas in general, closing loops would require long lengths of pipe without any homes on them. Since the town pays for that length, it would wind up paying much more for the project, and those in the district would face a stiffer debt service.
In other board news, the town reappointed Trisha Lazewski as assessor for the next six years, starting October 1 and lasting through September 30, 2019. Also, board members approved the addition of Crown Benefits Group as a consultant to help implement the coming changes from Obamacare. The group is paid for by the town’s insurance company, Blue Cross/Blue Shield.