[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Chester 2-18-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Sewers — See Ch. 269.
Pursuant to Article 14-F of the General Municipal Law, there is hereby established and imposed a plan of sewer rents applicable to the Village of Port Chester's sanitary sewer system. Such plan shall consist of annual charges against properties that utilize the Village's sewers. The annual sewer rents as provided for in this chapter shall be applied to pay the costs of the operation, maintenance, upkeep, repair and replacement of the sanitary sewer system. The purpose of the local law is to preclude the cost of the sanitary sewer system from being funded solely from the property tax and to more equitably distribute such cost on all properties, including tax exempt properties.
For the purpose of this chapter, the definitions set forth herein shall be controlling:
- SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM
- The system for the collection of sewage, including all sewer mains, pumping stations, appurtenances or other facilities, which are owned, operated and maintained by the Village of Port Chester, whether in or outside the Village.
- SEWER RENTS
- A schedule of annual charges established and imposed by the Village of Port Chester for the use of the sanitary sewer system.
- SYSTEM USERS
- The record owners of real properties that have sanitary facilities which discharge into the sanitary sewer system, whether the properties are located in or outside of the Village of Port Chester.
- TOTAL WATER CONSUMPTION
- The total volume of water delivered to a property by the water source for which a sewer user is responsible. The total volume of water shall be the sum of the volume of water metered by, or otherwise calculated by the water source.
- WATER CONSUMPTION
- The consumption of water, measured in hundreds of cubic feet ("CCF"); one CCF equals 748 gallons.
- WATER SOURCE
- Any entity that delivers water to a property, such as United Water Westchester or its successors in interest or assigns.
All system users, as defined herein, shall be liable for fees and sewer rent as enacted.
While system owners may charge a tenant(s) for sewer rent, owners are liable to the Village for payment for sewer rents. The failure of tenants to reimburse or indemnify a system user shall not be a defense to the obligation to pay sewer rent. All sewer rents and penalties shall be a charge against the property for which the system user and any successor in interest shall be liable therefor.
Sewer rent. System users shall pay an amount based on the actual water consumption as determined by the water source using a water meter or other measuring device, or an estimated amount if the water source is unable to obtain a reading.
[Amended 4-6-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
A system user who maintains that the sewer rent should be adjusted for any given six-month period may make one application to the Village Manager for an adjustment for that period’s sewer rent. Such application shall be in writing, and be supported by substantial evidence establishing that the amount of the system user’s water consumption that actually was discharged into the sanitary system was less than the amount of water consumption used to calculate the system user’s sewer rent. Proof shall be in the following form:
The system user has the burden of proof. The quantum and quality of proof is necessarily dependent on the amount of the adjustment sought.
If any adjustment is warranted, the system user shall receive the same in the form of a credit on the next bill following the Village Manager’s determination. If a system user is aggrieved by said determination, said user may appeal to the Board of Trustees within 15 days of same.
All applications for an adjustment that are currently pending shall be heard and determined under this subsection.
Changes. The initial rate of the sewer rent shall be established by resolution of the Board of Trustees after public hearing on five days' notice. Subsequent changes to the rate of the sewer rent and amount of penalty shall be made in the same manner.
The annual operation and maintenance costs of the sanitary sewer system shall be determined as part of the Village's budget process. The annual costs shall include, but not be limited to:
Personnel services, including salaries and fringe benefits.
Repairs and replacement to the sanitary sewer system.
Materials and supplies.
Building repair and maintenance.
Testing and sampling.
System users shall be billed by the Village or entity to which billing authority has been designated on a frequency established by the Village.
Sewer rents shall be paid to the Village of Port Chester.
Sewer rent bills shall be sent to system users to the address to which real estate bills would be sent.
The failure of a system owner to receive a bill shall not excuse nonpayment thereof, nor shall it act as a waiver of a penalty imposed herein prescribed.
A system user that intends to convey property shall notify the Village or entity to which billing authority has been delegated sufficiently in advance of the closing title for a final reading and new ownership information.
System users may be afforded the option of receiving e-bills or direct deposit of payments. System users may request that a tenant receive bills, and such additional notice may be given as an accommodation.
Any adjustments granted, issued or agreed upon with regard to actual water consumption shall be indicated to system users and reflected in the next succeeding bill.
All bills shall become due and payable without penalty within 25 days of issuance.
A penalty of 1% will be charged for any bill that remains unpaid after 25 days. An additional penalty of 1% shall be added for each succeeding month or any portion of a month in which the sewer rent continues to remain unpaid.
Unpaid sewer rents, penalties and interest shall constitute a lien upon the real property as provided by General Municipal Law § 452. This lien shall have priority and be senior to every other lien with the exception of the lien of an existing tax, assessment or other lawful charge imposed by the state of a political subdivision or district thereof.
Delinquent accounts shall be collected and enforced in a manner authorized by General Municipal Law § 452. The Board of Trustees acknowledges that it may bring and maintain an action as upon contract for sewer rents in arrears, including penalties and interest or to foreclose liens for such sewer rents. As a first preference, the Board desires to take advantage of the alternative process through the tax collection and enforcement process that is authorized as an alternative. The Board shall annually cause a statement to be prepared setting forth the amount of each lien for sewer rents in arrears, the real property affected thereby and the name of the person in whose name such real property is assessed. Such statement shall be presented to the Board of Trustees on or before a date to be specified by it. The Board shall levy the amounts contained in such statement against the real property liable at the same time and in the same manner as city, village, county or town taxes, as the case may be, and such amounts shall be caused to be set forth in separate column in the annual tax rolls. The amounts so levied shall be so collected and enforced in the same manner and at the same time as may be provided by law for the collection and enforcement of city, village, county or town taxes, as the case may be.
All revenues from sanitary sewer rents including penalties shall be kept in a separate bank account to be designated as "sewer rent fund." All such funds, together with any interest thereon, shall be used in accordance with General Municipal Law § 453.
A system user may apply to the Board of Trustees for review of any determination made by the Village or entity to which billing authority has been designated. Determinations by the Board of Trustees are subject to judicial review pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.
System users for properties located outside the territorial limits of the Village of Port Chester are liable for charges in accordance with this chapter unless the subject of an existing agreement with the Village.
The property of the Village of Port Chester is solely exempt from the obligation to pay sewer rent.
Together with United Water Westchester, the Village of Port Chester has petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission for authorization to contract with the water company to utilize its water consumption data, perform billing functions, as well as provide any other services necessary to administer this chapter.
Should any section or provisions of this chapter be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalidated, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter, and it shall be construed to have been the legislative intent to enact this chapter without such unconstitutional or invalid parts therein.