Mamaroneck Village residents can expect to see water bills with rates slightly higher than they paid in the spring but nowhere near the “shockingly” large increase of a year ago.
The rates—nominally pegged to the price New York City charges for its water but also subject to local adjustments and purchase plans—will go up for the village by about three percent, the Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW) said. At its work session Monday, the village board of trustees quietly noted the increase, which will not take effect until the higher rate has been adopted by the board. This year’s increase will take effect with water used after meters are read in July. A year ago, rates abruptly jumped 75 percent from the spring to summer quarters.
At its work session, the board also said it will consider next Monday whether to impose a six-month moratorium on proposed subdivisions, enact new curbside restrictions on Waverly Avenue at Ogden Avenue and set standards by which it honors residents’ service to the community.
The Water Work's three percent boost will cover recently announced increases of 5.6 percent in the base rate and 7.5 percent in the excess rate to buy New York City water, Water Works said in a statement. In addition, it said, the increased rate will fund a jump of about four percent in the utility’s own operating expenses as well as improvements like new water mains, booster pumps and pressure regulators and the rehabilitation of water storage tanks.
Tapping into the New York City watershed at two county locations, the 84-year-old Water Works runs the supply systems of Mamaroneck and Harrison Towns, including Mamaroneck Village, and sells water to other municipalities, Larchmont among them. Mamaroneck Mayor Norman S. Rosenblum—who sits with the town supervisors on the Water Works board and called last year’s rate increase "very high, shockingly so,"—reported this year’s three percent hike with little comment. He said it was tied to New York City’s water rates and put the village, “where it’s supposed to be.”
During last year’s uproar, Water Works Manager Anthony Conetta attributed the oversized rate bump to the village’s failure in previous years to keep pace with the rising cost of purchasing water. In addition to increasingly expensive water, he said, other pressures on the price village residents pay include the rising cost of such things as equipment purchases and maintenance, insurance, and water-treatment chemicals.
Subdivision freeze. The proposed moratorium on large tracts of land would impact spaces large enough to be cut into four building lots or more. At six months, Rosenblum said, the freeze “is not long-term.” But it would provide sufficient time, the mayor said, “to review all major undeveloped areas in the village” with an eye to possible changes in zoning. “It will give us time while we’re reviewing the LWRP,” he said, referring to Mamaroneck’s local waterfront revitalization plan.
Traffic flow. The trustees will consider a Traffic Committee recommendation to forbid halting a vehicle even momentarily, occupied or not, at the curb on Waverly Avenue near Ogden Avenue. To help trucks negotiate turns at the intersection, signs reading, “No Stopping from Here to Corner” would be posted on the northeast, northwest and southwest sides of Waverly at Ogden.
Signs of respect. A week after plans to honor three residents dissolved in public acrimony, the board heard Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro’s draft of a proposed village policy on such salutes. The draft policy spells out the honorary nature of street renamings and sets forth specific steps that must be completed in applying to honor a resident.