Sewer maintenance can be dirty and costly situation. For Mount Kisco, the price tag includes $1.5 million in bonds, which the Village Board of Trustees approved earlier this week.
The bonds will pay for a large-scale relining project. In total, 20,000 linear feet of sewers were be relined, Village Manage James Palmer said. The work is being done in order to reduce inflow and infiltration into the sewers. This means less in stormwater flow to the system, and lowering the burden placed on the Saw Mill pump station, Palmer explained.
The need for improving the sewer system stems from a 2006 order from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The village, Palmer explained, agreed to study and find the sources of the infiltration and inflow and have a plan for correcting it. Implementing the improvements is the next step, according to Palmer.
The sewers affected, which are beneath wetlands and formerly owned by New York City, face problems related to their age.
"The visual inspections completed last year indicated that cracks caused by roots and other debris along with open joints and wear and tear over time are allowing water to infiltrate the sewers in these areas," according to Palmer. "Since these wetlands flood, the sewers in these areas are especially vulnerable to large storm events and will be addressed first."
The bonds will translate to higher sewer fees, however. Current sewer bills are approximately $12 per 1,000 cubic feet, Palmer said.
Village Treasurer Rose Sickenius told the trustees that annual increases could range based on property types. Based on bond scenarios ranging from terms of 20 or up to 30 years, the hikes would produce new total annual bills of about $95 for condominiums, about $150 for single-family homes and about $395 to $400 for commercial properties.
The potential increases, according to Palmer, are $19.85 for single-family homes, $12.60 for condos and $46.20 for commercial. The exact estimated average new annual bills are: $150.98 for residential, $95.76 for condos and $394.19 for commercial.
Mayor Michael Cindrich stressed that upgrading the sewers is an important priority. There will be inconvenience to residents and minor disruption of the sewers, he explained, but it is “something that is absolutely necessary.”
Trustees will get a presentation showing the financial impact from various bond term scenarios at their August meeting. When asked about which bond duration may be selected, Palmer believes it is "more than likely," it will be 25 years, because the burden is spread out while being less than the sewers' lives.
Editor's Note: The original version of this story listed the dollar payment amounts for property types as being the amounts by which rates would increase. Those figures are for the total annual bills. The story has been updated.