Water and Sewer Billing
Access to clean drinking water and sewer sanitary services is one of the advantages of living in the Village of Trumansburg.
In the mid-1990s, the Village was placed under a mandate from Tompkins County to secure a secondary water source. Attempts to address this mandate were unsuccessful until 2013, when a project was started, in collaboration with NY State Parks. As a result of that project, the Village now has a fully redundant water source located at Taughannock State Park that more than doubles the Village's previous water production capacity.
The Village sends out water bills every other month which are currently based on a flat fee of $34.23 for each water account in the Village and a usage fee of $4.82 per 1,000 gallons after the first 1,000 gallons used.
At the start of the project, water fees were projected to double as a result of the cost. Yet, in the intervening nine years, the annual flat fee has increased by only 10%, while the price per gallon of water has decreased. The project is now complete, and debt repayment has begun. In keeping with original projections, the municipal water budget must now be adjusted.
At the request of the Village Board, our fiscal advisor, Municipal Solutions, completed a comprehensive water fee study taking into account current billing, as well as operating costs, future maintenance costs, and debt service. As anticipated at the start of the project, this study recommends an increase in fees to cover the operational costs and save for future maintenance costs. Additionally, the study recommends a new "capital charge" targeted at covering debt repayment.
To ease the burden of these changes the Village will adjust the fees only halfway this year and will adjust the fees to the full amount next year. Starting with water bills in September 2022, a "capital charge" will be added at $14 per dwelling unit (as identified by the Tompkins County Assessment Department). For commercial accounts, a calculation is performed to determine the account's "equivalent dwelling units" (EDU). All water clients, inside and outside the Village, will be assessed the capital charge.
Starting with water bills in September 2023, the "capital charge" will rise to $20. Additionally, the flat fee per billing period will increase to $41.00, and the fee per 1,000 gallons of water after first 1,000 used will increase to $5.80. Customers outside the village will continue to pay 1.5x the flat and per gallon fee. However, the "capital charge" will remain the same for customers outside the village. By the end of 2023, the fixed portion of the water bill will approach the cost increase that was originally anticipated, with the cost per 1,000 gallons of water only having increased by 10% since 2013. For customers with any questions or concerns, please contact the Village Office at (607) 387-6501.
The Village’s current sewer law was adopted in 1966. Since then, little to no substantive changes have occurred besides adjusting the sewer rate to ensure the sewer budget remained solvent.
A lot has changed in the 56 years since the initial sewer law was adopted. There are substantial requirements and recommendations at both a state and federal level that need to be incorporated into our local law. Additionally, the existing law has not kept up with the evolution of new best practices, particularly in the area of equitable cost distribution.
As a result, the Village anticipates adopting an updated sewer law in 2023. If adopted, sewer rates will be charged per dwelling unit (as identified by the Tompkins County Assessment Department). For commercial accounts, a calculation is performed to determine the account's "equivalent dwelling units" (EDU), and a sewer rate is charted per each EDU.