Tupper residents will see increased electric bill

Water treatment pilot starts this spring

TUPPER LAKE — In a report from the Municipal Lighting Department at the village’s board meeting on Tuesday, Superintendent Michael Dominie warned residents of a coming jump in their electric bills.

“When people’s bills come next month, be aware it’s going to be big, bigger than the previous month,” he said.

Last month, the village exceeded its power allotment. When this happens, power must be bought off the open market, the price of which fluctuates constantly. Last month, the village used about 225,000 kilowatt hours. At 11 cents per kWh, Tupper’s power bill will see an increase of around $26,000.

Dominie explained that when the same thing happened last February, the village used around 2 million kWh at an open market rate of 3 cents. That cost ratepayers an additional $60,000. If the village hit 2 million kWh last month at 11 cents, it would have cost ratepayers over $220,000.

The rate is not set by the village, Dominie explained, and is out of their control. However, the village received credits — which are due back to ratepayers — totaling around $82,000 from National Grid last year, which the municipal lighting department held until the winter for exactly this situation. In all, $42,000 will be applied to next month’s bill, with the other $40,000 earmarked for next month.

“(It) doesn’t take a huge chunk, but it definitely helps,” Dominie said.

In another department report, Municipal Water/Wastewater Department Superintendent Mark Robillard told the board about a planned pilot of a new water filtering process for the village’s water treatment plant on Tupper Lake.

In a meeting around a week and a half ago with engineers and the state Department of Health, the village water department decided to run another microfiltration pilot, this time using a granulated activated carbon filter in conjunction with microfiltration at the recommendation of the DOH.

“The two together will make the water a great product,” Robillard said.

A GAC filter is far better at removing organic matter, he explained. The pilot will likely run from May to October. It will push the project back some, but Robillard maintained that it is essential.

“We want the sure thing, we want the home run,” he said.

For the coming total solar eclipse on April 8, the village board passed a motion to close village offices at noon that day.


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