[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Schodack as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-28-1995 as L.L. No. 6-1995; amended in its entirety 3-14-2019 by L.L. No. 3-2019]
Editor's Note: This local law repealed former Ch. 176, Sewers, adopted 1-26-1995 as L.L. No. 3-1995.
It is the intent of the Town Board of the Town of Schodack, in enacting this article, to provide a fair and equitable method of determining sewer rents for consumers within all sewer districts in the Town and to provide consumers with an opportunity for participation.
As used in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- Any activity conducted for profit, whether or not open to the public, including, but not limited to, sales, distribution, advertising, manufacturing or other commercial activities.
- CAPITAL COSTS
- Those costs that must be paid by the districts in making annual payments on indebtedness for such purposes as construction, land acquisition and required reserves for replacements. "Capital costs" are not includable in operation and maintenance expenses.
- All sewer districts within the Town.
- OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
- Those expenses that the districts incur for the maintenance of sewage treatment facilities, collection systems and related functions.
- PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
- A place for the transaction of business as a lawyer, doctor, engineer, architect, consultant or any similar or related activity.
- SEWER RENT
- The cost chargeable to each consumer for operation and maintenance expenses. Such "sewer rent" is to be distinguished from the assessment that is levied to recover capital costs, which is made at the same time as the assessment of taxes in the Town.
- STUDIO APARTMENT
- A dwelling area within a structure that contains cooking and sanitary facilities and an area for sleeping, consisting of no more than two rooms, excluding bathrooms and closets.
- The Town of Schodack, New York.
- The measure of use that is attributable to any real property owner.
Each structure within the districts shall be assigned a unit number. The unit schedule is on file in the Town Clerk's office. Once established, each structure shall retain that unit designation until such time as the Town Board changes such designation. The Town Board shall establish and change, as appropriate, the unit schedule assignments of the structures so as to reflect equitably the degree of benefit and use of such structures. Any real property owner may request the Town Board to amend the real property owner's unit determination. The Town Board shall, after reviewing such request, either alter or maintain such unit schedule determination, stating the reasons therefor.
Unless provided otherwise by resolution of the Town Board, on or about October 20 of each year a hearing shall be held by the Town Board to provide real property owners with an opportunity to comment upon the assignment of units to real property owners and the proposed sewer rents. Where practicable, such public hearing shall be combined with the public hearings on the assessment rolls for the districts for capital charges. Prior to the public hearing, there shall be made available in the office of the Town Clerk a listing by real property owner, as those names appear on the assessment roll of the Town, of each parcel of real property with its unit designation. The Town Clerk shall publish in the Town-designated newspaper the fact that such list is available for review. Any person who wishes may review such list.
Unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Town Board, written notice of the public hearing required by § 176-4 shall be mailed to each real property owner within the sewer district at their address on file.
The Town Comptroller shall file with the Town Clerk, no later than 15 days prior to the date determined by the Town Board in § 176-4 for the public hearing, a written report and recommendation setting forth the amounts currently charged and the amount of the proposed charge and setting forth the reasons supporting such change, if any. This report shall be available at the office of the Town Clerk for review and inspection no later than 15 days prior to the public hearing scheduled by the Town Board.
Sewer rents for operation and maintenance expenses shall be calculated using the following method. First, from the anticipated yearly operation and maintenance expenses shall be subtracted the anticipated state or federal aid for operation and maintenance. To this figure shall be added a 10% contingency figure. The result of this computation shall be the adjusted sewer operation and maintenance expense, which figure shall then be divided by the total number of units that have been determined by the Town Board to exist in all districts. This unit charge shall then be assigned to each parcel of real property and multiplied by the number of units assigned to each classification of real property. The amount of such calculations shall be rounded off to the highest nearest dollar, to avoid fractional billings and to ensure that the sewer fund is adequately compensated for all necessary expenses.
Capital charges for real property owners shall be assessed, levied and collected by the Town at the same time as the assessment of taxes in the Town. Capital charges shall be calculated as follows. Each year the Comptroller shall determine those costs that must be paid by the districts in making annual payments on indebtedness for bond repayment, construction, land acquisition, and required reserves for replacements. The capital cost amount shall then be divided by the total number of units that have been determined by the Town Board to exist in all districts. This unit charge shall then be assigned to each parcel of real property and multiplied by the number of units assigned to each classification of real property set forth in the Unit Schedule as determined by the Town Board by resolution on an annual basis. The amount of the calculation shall be rounded off to the highest nearest dollar. The Town Board may, by resolution, establish the apportionment of such charges so as to reflect equitably the degree of benefit of affected parcels over the life of the capital improvements.
Sewer rents shall be established and may from time to time be amended by resolution of the Town Board, subject to the provisions of § 176-4 of this chapter and Article 14-F of the General Municipal Law.
"Vacant real property" shall mean any unimproved or undeveloped real property. Such vacant real property shall not be charged a sewer rent for operation and maintenance costs, although such vacant real property shall be subject to an assessment for capital costs.
In the event that a structure is destroyed or permanently vacated, the owner shall advise the Town Board, prior to the billing period, of such fact and request that sewer service to the real property be disconnected. Once disconnected, the real property shall no longer be subject to a sewer rent and shall be liable only for the assessment of capital costs. Reconnection to the property shall be made only upon application to the Town Board for such reconnection and upon payment to the Town of the costs incurred in making such reconnection. The Town, through its Building Inspector or other representative, shall have the authority to inspect such disconnections and reconnections.
Unless otherwise provided for by resolution of the Town Board, sewer rent bills for each year shall be sent out on or before October 15 of each year and shall be for the twelve-month period ending on the preceding May 31. Payment shall be due within 30 days following the billing. Any person failing to pay such sewer bill within such thirty-day period shall be subject to late charges and interest at the rate of 1 1/2% per month on the outstanding balance, but in no event shall such interest exceed the maximum allowable by law for delinquent taxes. Any bill that is delinquent for more than one year shall be added to the tax bill of the real property owner and become a lien on the property. In the alternative, the Town Board may authorize the collection of such delinquent sewer rents by civil action instituted in a court of competent jurisdiction.
No person shall cause or permit to be discharged into the sewer system of the districts any substance that is prohibited by state, federal or local law or regulation. In the event that any such substance is so discharged, the person responsible shall, in addition to any other fine, penalty or forfeiture imposed by state, federal or local law, be liable to the Town for any additional treatment costs or damages to the collection system and/or treatment facility.
No person shall cause or permit to be discharged into the sewer system of the districts, without the permission of the Town, any stormwater or groundwater, including, but not limited to, connections from roof drains and leaders, footing drains and sump pumps. In the event that any such unauthorized stormwater or groundwater is so discharged, the person responsible shall, in addition to any other fine, penalty or forfeiture imposed by state, federal or local law, be liable to the Town for any additional treatment costs or damages to the collection system and/or treatment facility.
The Building Inspector shall have the right to enter upon, examine and inspect or cause to be entered, examined and inspected any building or property at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out his duties and to determine compliance with the provisions of this article.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State, as provided by law.