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St. Armand more than doubles water-sewer rates

Stan Ingeson points out monitors at the town of St. Armand’s wastewater treatment plant, where he works as supervisor, in February 2018. (Provided photo — Bill Chaisson)

BLOOMINGDALE — The town of St. Armand has more than doubled its water-sewer bill rates to pay for state Department of Environmental Conservation-mandated wastewater system upgrades, according to the town supervisor.

“We’re under DEC mandate to put a chlorination system in,” said Supervisor Dean Montroy.

The DEC is requiring the system be in place by Jan. 1, 2022. That means the work has to be done in the summer of 2021, Montroy said. The rough cost is $740,000 for the chlorination system. The chlorination process is to purify the water — de-chlorination processes would also be included in the system before pumping water back into the environment, Montroy said.

To pay for the project, the town will be required to match a state grant at 20 percent. That’s roughly $148,000 the town would have to pay.

“What we would do is come up with our share over the next three years,” Montroy said.

By raising the water-sewer usage rate from $8.50 per 1,000 gallons to $18.15, Montroy said the town has calculated a yearly return of $41,600 to cover the cost of the chlorination system. However, after three years, barring any other expenditures and depending on how much the chlorination process takes to operate, costs will come back down, Montroy said.

There’s another option — to pay with a bond anticipated note, essentially a loan. The cost would then be spread out over the next 30 years or so, Montroy said, and because of interest rates could cost tax payers more.

The St. Armand Town Board is set to discuss the issue as it meets Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall in Bloomingdale.