Old Westbury OKs increase in water rate

Rose Weldon
The Village of Old Westbury's board of trustees passed the first water rate increase in six years at their meeting on Monday. (Photo by Rose Weldon)

The Village of Old Westbury’s Board of Trustees passed an increase in water rates at a meeting on Monday to help finance recent upgrades in the system.

“Before I go through this I’m going to make a mention that this is the first rate increase the village has had to water rates since 2014,” Mayor Edward Novick said. “And this particular issue is really predicated on the fact that we are essentially helping to fund $10 million in capital improvements made to the village water system, which has been moving up over the last few years.”

Novick said that the improvements included installing Smart Water meters in every home in the village, a mobile app that allows residents and the village to check for leaks, the construction of a water tank that could hold one million gallons, and the development and installation of a supervisory control and data acquisition system which Novick says “will bring the entire water system to the 21st century.”

The increases mean that the base rate of the first 100,000 gallons will be increased from $175 to $185. From there, the next 300,000 gallons will be raised 50 cents from $2.75 per thousand to $3.25 per thousand; the following 400,000 gallons from $3.75 per thousand to $4.25 per thousand; and over 800,000 gallons will be raised from $5 per thousand to $5.50 per thousand. The changes will begin with the billing period ending Oct. 31.

The mayor added that the increase had “necessary components for ensuring the village is meeting its obligations in a way that meets triple A-rated bonds,” which the village had taken out for upgrades to its water systems.

“I should remind the public of exactly how substantially potable our water is, and that our water, essentially is the most potable water that you might be able to drink in all of Long Island, if not the state,” Novick said. “This is because Old Westbury has never experienced any industrialization. And of course, all the improvements that we’re making to our water system will continue to protect the integrity of our drinking water and maintain that superiority to other municipalities.”

The board then approved the increase.

Later in the evening, the board also resolved to host public hearings on adding stop signs and control of dogs at the next meeting.

Former Mayor Fred Carillo, who retired in September, was also formally named “mayor emeritus” at the meeting.

The village Board of Trustees will next meet on Monday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

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