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May 10, 2021 - 11:16pm

Water surcharge on City of Batavia residents' bills is byproduct of 40-year agreement with Genesee County

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city council, Healthy Living Campus.

A small additional fee on City of Batavia residents’ quarterly water bill is all part of a “master plan."

The surcharge, which is based on water consumption, was the subject of a brief exchange at tonight’s City Council meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room.

Council Member Robert Bialkowski, after complimenting tax assessor Rhonda Saulsbury for explaining the property assessment process to citizens that he referred to her, reported that he has encountered “a lot of skepticism” over the home values – mostly increases – that recently were mailed.

“Everybody thinks that once that assessment has changed, we’re going to grab all that money,” he said. “I’ve explained how … the tax doesn’t go into effect until next year. It’s just one of those tough things.”

Then, he said he noticed that there is an additional fee on this year’s tax bill for water.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said it is a water surcharge imposed by Genesee County that is in the second year of the two municipalities’ 40-year water supply agreement.

Following the meeting, Tabelski explained that the actual surcharge is $1.20 per 1,000 gallons used.

“The charge that shows up on the quarterly water bill is 60 cents per 1,000 gallons and the other 60 cents per 1,000 gallons used will be on the homeowners’ annual city tax bill,” she said.

Tabelski said the rate is based on the water master plan of Genesee County, which sells water to the city on a wholesale basis.

Council passed four resolutions tonight:

  • The referral of a petition from the GLOW YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center to rezone 211 E. Main St. from P-2 (Planned Development/medical office building) to C-3 (Commercial) to the City Planning & Development Committee for review.

The zoning change is necessary to have all parcels designated Commercial before the construction of the two entities’ Healthy Living Campus.

Currently, Cary Hall (formerly McAuley School of Practical Nursing) sits on that land.

Council’s action moves the matter to the PDC for consideration at its May 18 meeting. The Genesee County Planning Board is scheduled to make its recommendation at its meeting on Thursday.

Once the PDC makes its ruling, the petition will go back to City Council, which will set a public hearing – likely next month.

  • A $161,890 contract with Grove Roofing Services Inc., of Buffalo, to perform the Phase II roof replacement at the City Centre. Grove Roofing performed the first phase of the roof repairs and replacement to the city’s satisfaction, Tabelski said.
  • A contract not to exceed $29,412 with AJ’s Tree Service of East Amherst to trim and remove trees in the city during the course of the 2021-22 fiscal year. Costs are determined on the size of the trees to be removed.
  • The closing out of a Mall Fund after the issuance of a check for $13,970.84 from the city to mall merchants. Tabelski said the check was cashed last month, leaving no other cash in that fund.

In other developments, Council approved an All Babies Cherished vendor event for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22 at the City Centre mall concourse, and the Memorial Day parade for 9:45 a.m. May 31, starting on East Main Street.

Council Member Rose Mary Christian said that she attended tonight’s Batavia City School District Board of Education meeting prior to the City Council meeting, and let board members know that the school district has the highest tax rate in the county, followed by Genesee County and then the City of Batavia.

She said she asked them to reduce the rate, especially since students were not in school all year – resulting in savings in the amount of gas, electric, water and transportation used.

“They also presented their budget, which wasn’t that bad but it’s not that great either,” she said.

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