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Larchmont Board Approves Water Rate Increase

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- The Larchmont Board of Trustees approved a 3.5 percent water rate increase at Monday night's meeting.

The board set the rate lower than the original 5.5 percent increase proposed at its Aug. 22 meeting by Village Treasurer Dennis Brucianni, who wanted to make sure Larchmont was prepared to deal with the costs of looming capital projects.

"We discussed a potential water rate increase ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 percent and we have landed on a number in the middle, 3.5 percent," said Josh Mandell, mayor of Larchmont. "This will cover a couple of capital projects that we believe are in the offing."

Brucianni brought three capital projects to the board’s attention at the Aug. 22 meeting. They include replacing the water meters at an estimated cost of $500,000, replacing the hydro-pneumatic tank as well as Larchmont's two water storage tanks.

The 3.5 percent rate hike will prepare the village for the principal and interest payments on two of those three projects. The first to get underway will be the water meter replacement, said Mandell, who expects another water rate increase will be needed one year from now to pay for the third project.

The latter two projects, which Brucianni said could cost as much as $1 million, don't have an official start date.

"Those are not shovel ready, so we're still in the process of trying to develop the scope of work for those," Mandell said. "And we may in the future have to have a small rate increase to prepare for the third of those plans, whichever one of those turns out to be third. We haven't even determined that yet."

There is no official start date for the water meter replacement either.

"That replacement program will probably take at least a year to implement, and the principal and interest from that will take another year to hit the budget," Mandell said. "But we'll be well served to prepare for that by having a small rate increase today."

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