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Council moves ahead with 43 percent utility discount for inactive properties

January 16, 2013 - Some Oxford Village property owners are one step closer to getting a discount on their monthly water, sewer and rubbish bill from the municipality.

Last week, council voted 3-0 to approve the first reading of a proposed amendment to the water and sewer ordinances that would reduce the minimum bill by 43 percent (or $22.98) for properties that are unoccupied or vacant for short or long periods of time.

An example of folks who would benefit from this proposed change are senior citizens who leave their village homes to spend the winter in warmer climates down south and out west.

A second reading of this proposed change was scheduled for 6: 30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the village council chambers located at 22 W. Burdick St.

Normally, village residents are charged a base fee of $18.10 a month for water, which includes 2,000 gallons. Every 1,000 gallons after that costs $3.41.

Since the residence isn't utilizing any water when the owner's away for a few months, village Manager Joe Young proposed deducting $6.82 from the water bill, which equals the unused 2,000 gallons. The resident would be charged a monthly base rate of $11.28 as opposed to $18.10.

For the sewer bill, Young proposed discounting the $22.85 base charge by $4.25, the equivalent of 8,333 gallons.

As for the monthly residential garbage bill of $11.91, Young proposed eliminating it entirely for unoccupied or vacant properties. The manager indicated that once notified, the village's trash hauler, Rizzo Environmental Services, would not charge the municipality for those inactive properties.

Combined, Young's proposals would reduce the normal water/sewer/garbage bill from the minimum $52.86 to $29.88.

In order to receive this discount, the property's water service would have to be shut off at the street. For this, the village would charge $20 to turn it off and $20 to turn it back on. That's a proposed reduction of the current $30 turn on/off fee.

Young proposed reducing the turn on/off fee because a cost analysis he conducted showed this service actually costs the village only $14.26 during normal working hours.

Water shut-offs and turn-ons that occur when overtime rates apply, such as nights and weekends, would remain $50.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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