Johnson-Floodman Water District a go in Palmyra
Barring disapproval from the state comptroller, the only thing stopping the Johnson-Floodman Water District from proceeding would be if the bids for the project’s construction come in higher than the $1.124 million allowed cost.
“If the project’s numbers come in higher than that cost, then the town has to come back to the residents for reauthorization,” said Town Engineer Dave Doyle from the MRB Group.
In addition to the issue of project costs arising at a public hearing on the water district prior to the board’s meeting, residents asked about the costs of hooking up and what would happen if the $491,000 Rural Development grant is not attained.
Residents who decide to hook up to public water within the proposed district would incur a one-time connection charge of $1,400 and the cost of installing the individual water service to their residence. This charge is dependent on the size of the service a resident elects to install, the distance from the road right-of-way to the house and is approximately $5 to $8 per linear foot. It will also include the cost of paying a plumber to install the sewer lateral.
“That may sound like a high number, but in our experience, that about covers the cost,” said Doyle.
Following the discussion about the individual costs facing residents in the water district, South Creek Road resident Cheryl Smyers asked what would happen if the town does not get the amount of grant money from Rural Development that was estimated it would receive for the project.
Doyle replied it is possible that the town could receive less grant money than was estimated, and if so the board members could decide to pass on the extra costs to residents without coming back to them for their opinions. But, he added, that he could not imagine that happening.
“I’ve never seen a Town Board ram a project down the public’s throat,” said Doyle.
According to town officials, if there are no changes in the formulas and grant monies received, residents within the district are looking at an estimated annual cost of about $980. This includes a $680 yearly payment on the debt service for the $633,000 that would be raised by taking out a loan with Rural Development at a rate of 4.125 percent for 38 years, as well as a $300 estimated cost of water based on the usage of a “typical” family home. Additionally, anyone residing in the district would have to pay the annual debt service charge regardless of if they decided to hook up to the water line.