The Dolgeville Village Board of Trustees will once again look to formulate classifications for commercial, industrial and residential water users.
The board previously sought to define a residential user as compared to a commercial user, and in 2008 came close to agreeing on a definition that said a residential user is a dwelling with two or less family units, while a commercial user is a dwelling with three or more family units, in addition to a business or money making enterprise. The board, at the time, had considered more specific definitions, but Village Attorney Norman Mastromoro suggested to keep the definitions as broad as possible to keep the village from locking itself in on what and what does not constitute a business.
Monday night, Mastromoro reiterated what he said nearly four years ago.
“The idea is to have a ‘catch all’ category, to capture those situations that are not a residence, an industry or a commercial user,” he said. “That’s why it’s best to keep the definitions simple.”
Trustee Larry Brandow said the classifications are needed so the village can install meters at commercial and industrial properties to accurately calculate their water usage.
“We’re not trying to hammer the businesses, but we need to do something to make it fair for everyone. We have businesses that are paying the same as households for water,” he said. “That’s not right and it’s hurting the water department’s budget. This is something the village needs to do.”
The board of trustees will conduct a special meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. at the municipal hall to further discuss the classifications with Mastromoro and water plant operator Neal Winkler.
Winkler on Monday evening said outside of the three basic classifications of commercial, industrial and residential water users, the village could decide to add sub-classifications to each one.
“The option is there to break a category down further, if need be,” he said. “This doesn’t have to be too complicated of a process, as the idea is to determine who should have their water metered.”
Winkler added the meters would simply be used to record how much water a business uses.
“The meters are way to get a handle on who is using what,” he said.
Mastromoro said the classifications could also be used to establish water rates for a particular type of water user, as long they fell under the same category or sub-category.
“That type of action, however, would be subject to a public hearing, as it would require a change in the village’s local law governing water rates to enact such a change,” he said. “This action is separate from that action, as all the village is seeking to do here is come up with who needs a water meter.”