The city’s Board of Public Service will consider appeals of water bills during its meeting in City Hall at 4 p.m. Thursday, officials said.
Bills issued this month reflect increases in rates and are based on a full-year of readings with new water meters, according to a media release from the city of Oneonta.
The meters were installed in 2012, city officials said, and under the new system, meters are read remotely on a monthly basis.
Many of the meters replaced were 30 or 40 years old, and generally, over time, meters slow down and do not effectively record low usage levels, city officials said.
The new meters are more accurate and have better detection of low flow usage, the release said, and as a result, most owners will see an increase, perhaps substantial, in reported and billed usage.
Consistent with past practice, billing includes an annual charge for the current year’s water and sewer usage minimum, the release said.
The minimum charge covers the first 37,000 gallons of usage and is $335 for city residents, with a breakdown of $135 for water and $200 for sewer.
For residents in the town of Oneonta, the minimum is $503, which includes $203 for water and $300 for sewer.
The 2014 minimum charge includes an increase of $30 for city residents and $45 for town residents. Rates for usage above the minimum have also been increased.
The increases were necessary to support operational costs of treatment plants, distribution and collection systems, maintenance of our water supply and debt service, city officials said.
Payments for water bills issued by the city of Oneonta are due April 30, without penalty, city officials said. Bills to residential and many business users were issued April 1.
Appeals of bills must be submitted in writing to the Board of Public Service and delivered to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 258 Main St., within 90 days of the date of the bill.
For information about usage and meter reading, call the Oneonta Department of Public Service at 432-2100.
For questions about billing and collection, call the city finance department at 432-0560.