Oneida County Sewer District rates to increase for system upgrades

Oneida County will tap into a reserve fund to help reduce the impact of the sewer rate increase on customers.

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 12:32 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 10:29 PM

Sewer rates will soon be increasing in Oneida County.

The rate increase, which was planned, is needed to pay for the ongoing upgrades to the county's aging sewer system, which comes at a price tag of more than $330 million upon completion in 2021.

Picente says the rate increase was expected but the county will tap into a reserve fund to help reduce the impact of the sewer rate increase on customers.

Oneida County Sewer District customers will begin to see the rate increase in April. The current rate of $4.13 per 1,000 gallons of consumption will be raised to $4.52 per 1,000 gallons, which will help pay for the first round of work needed.  Picente says the increase would have been about $5.00 per 1,000 gallons had the county not been able to tap into the reserve fund.

According to Picente, on average the annual increase will be:
- $5.26 for a single-person household (13,500 gallons per year)
- $21.45 for a four-person household (55,000 gallons per year)
- $31.59 for a six-person household (81,000 gallons per year)

“We’ve taken on the task of repairing a system that went far too long without the necessary investments and maintenance,” Picente said in a news release. “Our approach has been strategic and collaborative, as we have worked for years with a Steering Committee, representative of all district municipalities, to set a course for efficient and responsible methods of repair. As such, I’m pleased to announce that the OCSD has been able to use funds saved over recent years to cut the impact of the first rate increase by half. This assistance will greatly reduce to burden to ratepayers in 2018.”

Residents within the Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station Basin will also continue to pay a surcharge that will fund the first $25.8 million in sanitary sewer system repairs and improvements specific to those municipalities. Affected residents include those in the towns of New Hartford, Paris and Whitestown, and the villages of Clayville, New Hartford, New York Mills, Whitesboro, Oriskany and Yorkville.

Picente says that customers may also have rate increases specific to their local city, town or village, which will help fund local sewer system repairs and improvements. Those rates would be determined by the individual municipalities.

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