By Rebecca Martin
Tonight, the City of Kingston Water Superintendent Judith Hansen gave a thorough presentation to explain the phases and costs of the Cooper Lake Dam Project. We were pleased to learn that the city is in contact with the Town of Woodstock (an important partner where Kingston’s water supply is located) and also, that the worst case scenario for water rate increases is only approximately $79.81 PER YEAR for average users and $37.42 PER YEAR for minimum user. That’s a couple tanks of gas per year for a once in a century drinking water infrastructure investment.
Kingston is fortunate to have the drinking water supply that it does. It is some of the best drinking water in the state (if not the world).
“Most people pay $200 per month for cable ($2,400 per year), Natural Gas / Oil ($1,700 year per year) Cell Phones @ $100 per month ($1,200 per year), Electricity ($1,100 per year). The Kingston Water Department is asking residents to pay less than $500 per year for something that they can’t live without” said Water Superintendent Judith Hansen.
Still, for most on a tight budget any increase can create a hardship. A Home Water Assistance Program like the one that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection offers, “…is an initiative to make water and sewer bills more affordable for low-income homeowners.” A similar bill is making its way through NYS currently which is good news for everyone.
In the meantime, thanks to the Kingston Water Department and Board for their hard work and efforts.
Filmed by The Kingston News and brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org.
Overview of Kingston Water system
1:46 – 8:26
Cooper Lake Dam: Project Drivers, Project Goals and Elements, Dam Rehabilitation Site Plan (Main Dam, West Dike), Construction Stating and Cofferdam, Cooper Lake (1957 Drought, Temporary Construction Level, Historial Elevation), Ashokan Reservoir Connection, Temporary Ashokan Reservoir Connection, Completed/Ongoing Permitting Items, Project Phasing, Engineers Opinion of Probable Construction Cost,
8:40 – 35:20
Ward 2 Alderman Doug Koop (Chair, Finance Committee)
“How are we going to pay all of this?”
35:25 – 35:37
Town of Woodstock Supervisor has been contacted. A presentation is being planned to occur at their community center.
35:38 – 36:40
36:44 – 51:30
* Town of Ulster (ToU) purchases 700,000 GPD. ToU can make their own water. The city could ask that the ToU use their own supply, and send us 300,000 back.
* Purchasing raw water from the Ashokan Reservoir current rate is $1,800 per million gallons.
* The Dam project will cost an estimated $12 million (+ or -).
* 2019 Water Department budget is $4.8 million, most from the sale of water (94%). Every $45k in spending creates a 1% increase in rates.
* $250k per year are taxes paid out to the Town of Woodstock.
* There are not grants available to fix dams. Phase 1 and 2 fortunately (totaling $7m of the $12m required) is for drinking water supply work. There is funding available for that portion via WIIA and DWSRF.
* If the city were to bond the full $12m (which is unlikely) @ 3.5% for 20 years would create a 19% increase in water sales. The would mean that the average family user increase is $79.81 per year. The minimum bill payer increase of $37.42 per year.
Putting it into perspective.
51:34 – 52:31
“Most people pay $200 per month for cable ($2,400 per year), Natural Gas / Oil ($1,700 year per year) Cell Phones @ $100 per month ($1,200 per year), Electricity ($1,100 per year). The Kingston Water Department is asking residents to pay less than $500 per year for something that they can’t live without.” – Water Superintendent Judith Hansen
Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley
52:38 – 54:01
“Any consideration for financial impacts of users using less water to save money?”