Village of Akron Water System May 2006 Update

Note: The following is a presentation of the status of the Village of Akron Reservoir and Water System.

The Village of Akron reservoir and water plant, located in the towns of Bennington and Darien, were constructed in 1927, and have provided high-quality drinking water for 79 years. Much of the 400 acre property was originally planted in softwood trees. Because these softwoods have reached the end of their life cycle, and much of the land is well-suited to growing high-quality hardwoods such as cherry and maple, we have worked with forestry consultants to develop a timber management program. The softwoods are being harvested to allow the existing hardwood seedlings a chance to grow into commercially valuable trees. In addition, undesirable timber species and some mature timber trees are being harvested, to create a vibrant, healthy hardwood forest.

The dam and spillway have been maintained periodically, and are now in need of some additional maintenance. In 2005, we rehabilitated the west wall of the spillway, and plan to do the east wall in 2006. In addition, minor seepage at the spillway will be addressed with a pressurized grout injection process.

The plant's filtration systems have been updated several times over the years, to better serve our customers and to meet water quality regulations. In 2004, water quality regulations were tightened, creating new challenges for many water systems, both small and large. When chlorine is added during the filtration process to disinfect the water, organic compounds (from the natural decay of things like leaves, grass or trees) combine with the chlorine to produce small amounts of Haloacetic Acids (HAA). Routine comprehensive testing is performed on drinking water supplies. This testing is performed according to regulatory guidelines and includes testing for HAA. Our last two quarterly running averages have slightly exceeded the HAA limits, by 6 parts per billion. We are working with an engineer and other consultants to find affordable purification technology to help us meet current and upcoming standards.

Our water flows 13 miles by gravity to the village water tank on Crittenden Road, through a transmission line which was replaced in 1993. This line has adequate capacity for current and future usage, is in excellent condition, and has had very few problems since its installation. The storage tank has a capacity of 750,000 gallons, almost a two-day supply. The water mains within the village are of varying age and condition. Our village crews do an excellent job of repairs when needed, and water mains are replaced during capital projects. Recent years have seen new water mains installed on Bloomingdale Avenue, Clarence Center and Hake Roads, and on Brooklyn Street. In 2006, the lines on Washington and Liberty Streets will be replaced under a county grant program. We hope to replace a section of line on Parkview Drive as well.

The 2006 annual budget for the water system is $697,415. The breakdown of this number is as follows:
Water treatment and purification at the plant: $245,027
Water transmission from Bennington: $58,148
Water distribution within the village: $107,907
Equipment and Maintenance: $9,500
Property taxes for the plant and transmission line: $91,895
Debt Service: $184,938

This detail shows that 35% of our budget is for the cost of getting clean water to the village, 24% is for distribution within the village, 1% is for equipment and maintenance, 27% is for debt service, and 13% is for property taxes that we pay to the Towns of Pembroke, Darien, and Bennington. These taxes have risen dramatically in recent years, in part because of state assessment guidelines, and now represent $0.76 of the $5.85 water rate per 1000 gallons.

It is very difficult to compare village water rates to other municipalities, because 100% of the cost of the water, maintenance, fire hydrants, debt service and taxes are all included within our water rate. Other municipalities have parts of their water cost funded through property taxes, such as maintenance, hydrant fees, and debt service. None of the Village of Akron water department budget is funded through property taxes.

The Village of Akron is proud to provide our own high quality water to our municipal customers. Further, we are proud to have received many awards for the good taste of our water.

Mayor & Trustees

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