Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke has proposed a 35 percent water rate increase to cover debt service and to fund future capital water infrastructure projects.
“We have a crisis . . . with our water system and we need to address it,” Tenke said at a Tuesday night city council work session.
The city this year borrowed $2.5 million to begin rebuilding a well on Seaman Road and installing an air stripper to remove contaminants. Tenke said that project will require an additional $2.5 million next year. The city is also installing a temporary refurbished air stripper on Duck Pond Road wells, where the Nassau County Health Department ordered two wells shut in November and January after detecting refrigerant Freon 22.
Tenke said the Duck Pond Road air stripper costs $800,000 to $1 million and will last three to five years, which means it will need to be replaced with a permanent air stripper.
The city has not raised its water rates since 2004, Tenke said, and the increase would keep the fund self-sufficient. The increase would raise $748,000 in annual revenue and cost the average homeowner $6.72 per month, based on estimates by Glen Cove city staff.
“We want to start to build our water fund, which is only going to be used for . . . water projects,” Tenke said.
Councilwoman Pamela Panzenbeck said water rates should not be raised by 35 percent all at once.
“I’d rather go with two smaller increases two years in a row,” Panzenbeck said.
The city council is expected to consider the increase at its June 26 meeting.