SPECULATOR - The water and sewer use rates here will go up a bit with the November billings.
It's all part of the Village of Speculator's plan to make the Water / Wastewater Department financially self-sufficient. When revenues fall short the money has to come from the General Fund.
Village Clerk Bonnie Page told the Board of Trustees July 8 that billing revenues for 2012/13 covered 94 percent of water expenses and 98 percent of sewer expenses.
Trustee Karen McComb said, "I'm very glad to see the 94 and 98 percent. It shows we are getting there."
The board discussed raising the base rates, but decided to raise the use rates instead, so people who use more water pay more and those who conserve can save on their bills.
Rates were raised substantially as of February 2012 in an attempt to balance the WWD budget. The current increases are by pennies.
Effective Aug. 1 the water use rate will go up by six cents to $5.10 per 1,000 gallons and the sewer use rate will go up by 10 cents, to $8 per 1,000 gallons. The change will first show up on November bills.
In a Wastewater Treatment Plant matter, Chief Operator Florence Braunius told the board she is going after hazard mitigation grant money being offered by the state. She wants to install a stationary generator at each of the sewer system's five pump stations for $14,000 to $15,000 each.
The grant would cover 75 percent of the cost, and the village's portion could be in in-kind services, she said. The application is due Aug. 1.
Responding to concerns from members of the public who have seen people in the water at the public beach but no lifeguard in the chair, lifeguard Jackie Lewis said, "They may be standing near or in the water watching swimmers, especially if there are only a few or they are very young. It's quicker to get to them than from the chair.
"No regulation says the lifeguards have to be in the chair," she added.
McComb said parents should remember the lifeguards are not babysitters. "They are there to protect someone from drowning, to stop dangerous or destructive behavior and to protect the beach if someone is acting inappropriately," she said. "The lifeguards may order such a person to leave the beach."
An adult should accompany younger children to the beach.
-- Page said the village's Facebook page has proven popular, with 252 followers.
-- The village will send Slate Hill Constructors a letter complimenting their people on the Rt. 8 culvert replacement job and being done on time.
-- Elizabeth Perkins' application for membership in the fire department was reviewed and approved.
The board of trustees will next meet Monday, July 22, starting at 7 p.m. in Village Hall.