Water rates shall be fixed and established by the Village Board of Trustees for consumers within the Village and for consumers outside the Village, annually, or at any other time as determined by the Village, except that if no action is taken by the Village, the most recently adopted schedule shall continue in effect. Water rates shall be established pursuant to §§ 11-1118 and 11-1120 of the Village Law of the State of New York.
All water rates shall be charged on the basis of the amount registered on the meters installed as herein provided, or a minimum charge, or on any combination of these methods as established and fixed by the Village.
The meter rates for water service, both inside and outside of the Village, shall be set annually by the Board. The meter rates shall be adopted and enacted by Board each year as a component of the Village's budget.
The meter rates so adopted and enacted shall remain in effect until the end of each designated fiscal year unless amended by Village Board.
Frequency of billing. All regular residential rates shall be billed semiannually; commercial and special residential consumers to be billed quarterly.
Failure to receive bill. Failure to receive a water bill shall not act as a waiver of penalty.
Separate readings. In the event that more than one meter is used upon the same premises, separate bills shall be rendered for each meter.
All charges for water service pipe installation, repairs, damages caused by carelessness or neglect, penalties, etc., shall be made against the premises supplied, and the owner of premises shall be held responsible therefor. Such charges, if not paid, shall be a lien on the property benefited. All such unpaid charges, including an additional ten-percent processing fee computed on the unpaid balance, shall be added to the next Village tax against the property.
Ownership. Water furnished to any property for any purpose stands charged against such property regardless of change of ownership. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to discontinue the service from premises for any unpaid bill or bills accumulated by the former owner or owners and refuse to turn the same on again until all arrears and penalties are paid. In the case of transfer of a property, the Water Department should be immediately notified, in writing, so that proper adjustment may be made of any charges or repair bills against such property. In case water is turned off by an agent of the Water Department for proper cause, no person shall turn it on again without permission from the Water Department.
Conformity implied. All persons who hereafter make applications for water service or who continue the use of the water service after the effective date of these regulations will be deemed to have assented thereto and to have agreed to conform to the provisions of these regulations, and to pay the rates established.
Generally. Whenever practical, a meter shall be placed and the water consumption paid for at the established meter rates.
As established April 2012, units with no meter installed will be billed $500 flat fee.
Charges to noncompliant properties will be assessed a flat rate fee of $500 biannually or upon each billing cycle, beginning with the next bill date October 2012. Noncompliance shall mean the property owner has not contacted DPW within 30 days to make appointment for access or the property owner has not allowed unfettered access to the property by DPW for work needed. In all cases, access and completion of work must be completed with 90 days of notice. Removal of awnings or panels, or other requirements needed to access the water line will be at the expense of the property owner. Meters for mobile homes must be installed in a climate-protected area for prevention of freezing, at property owner's expense. Notices will be sent by the Clerk through United States mail to the property owners and the same notice be affixed to the front door to each of these properties that allows 30 days for the owner to contact DPW for repair, placement or replacement of the water meter to the property and in addition will include the amount to be charged biannually to the property owner that is without metered service.
Building purposes. For building purposes where it is not advisable or practical to install a meter, the owner or contractor may be furnished water at a fixed flat rate. In such instances the owner or contractor shall make written application to the Water Department on a form provided by the Department giving the information required. The Water Department may demand payment in advance of the amount of charges for water at scheduled rates for such work.
If a water meter fails to register, the consumer shall be billed at the average daily consumption as indicated by the last five billing cycles, as shown by the meter when it was in order.
Any property owner who has been notified that its meter is not working must have the meter repaired prior to the next billing period. If a meter is not repaired within said time frame, a penalty will be added to each estimated bill until the meter is repaired; such penalty to be stated and reviewed annually as part of the schedule of fees.
Remote metering apparatus shall be installed on the driveway or sidewalk side of the house only, all in connection with such service.
No abatement of the charges for water rents shall be allowed on account of the vacancy of any premises supplied with water, unless the water supply is turned off by the Water Department. For such suspension of service there shall be a charge for shutting off and for restoring the service at such premises, as indicated in the fee schedule but, in the interval, no charge for service shall be made.
Until the Village is notified, in writing, by a property owner that a change to classification code as defined by NYS RPT Law and upon certification in writing by the Assessor, and the NYS Building and Fire Code Enforcement Officer that such change has occurred, the property will remain unaltered and the appropriate water rates so charged.
Owner's responsibility. The owner of the premises to which water is supplied shall be chargeable with all water taken from the Village mains, and if leaks occur in the service lines between the curb stop and the meter, the Water Department may estimate the amount of the water lost by such leaks and charge the same to the owner of the premises.
All water that passes through a meter shall be charged for, whether used, wasted or lost by leakage.
Whenever the owner or occupant requests the Village to shut off or turn on the supply of water, such owner or occupant shall pay a fee as established in the schedule of fees, as adopted by the Board of Trustees. The owner shall indemnify the Village of any claims by tenants or other persons due to the shutting off of such water services.
Water service may be discontinued for any of the following reasons:
Use of water other than represented in the application.
Willful waste of water through improper or imperfect pipes.
Interfering with any service pipe, seal, meter, curb box, curb stop or any other appliance of the Village.
Nonpayment of bills for water or services rendered by the Village.
Cross-connecting the Village service pipe with any other source of supply or with any apparatus which may endanger the quality of the Village water supply.
Open or close any valve or gate in the main or tamper or interfere with same in any manner;].
Cover or conceal with earth, sidewalk material or any substance, any curb box on laterals from the main to any premises.
Refuse reasonable access to the property at any reasonable hour during the day for the purposes of inspecting fixtures or piping or for reading, repairing, testing or removing meters.
Redistribute, submeter or resell water, inside or outside the Village, unless specifically authorized by this chapter.
Refusal of reasonable access to the property for purposes associated with Village water service. Before service so discontinued shall be restored, the consumer shall pay a minimum fee for the turn on charge or the actual cost to the Village of restoring service, whichever is greater, in advance of the work performed and sign an application for service, if he has not already done so. In addition, the consumer may be required to pay water rent up to one full year (at the minimum rate) in advance before restoration of service shall be considered.
Shutoff of joint services. Where two or more consumers are now supplied with water through one service pipe under the control of one curb stop, if any of the parties so supplied shall violate any of these rules of this chapter, the Village reserves the right to shut off the joint service line, except that such action shall not be taken until the innocent consumer who is not in violation of the Village rules has been given a reasonable opportunity to attach his pipe to a separately controlled service connection.
Meters are to be read semiannually/quarterly as previously described by the Village Water Department personnel.
All water customers will have actual water meter readings performed by Village personnel at least one time per year. Failure to do so will result in an administrative charge on the next bill and on each bill thereafter until the Village obtains access to read the meter. Such charge is subject to review and may be made by resolution of the Village Board at least once annually and to be restated at each organizational meeting.
The charge for a reading (special reading) made at any other time than at the time of the regularly scheduled reading for the purpose of property transfer, tenant changes, etc., or to check on a regular reading shall be stated within the schedule of fees.
The intent of this policy is to provide uniformity in the investigation and disposition of disputes related to water and sewer bills. This policy was designed to provide specific standards for Village response to customer inquiries which are consistent with good public relations. These standards should also reduce unnecessary rereading of meters, and provide for the prompt and efficient handling of disputes. It also details options available to all parties should an impasse occur between the Village and the claimant.
In the event that a customer has a dispute with their water bill they should call the Village of Fonda Water Clerk at 518-853-4335 (in the preceding, the title "Water Clerk" refers to the actual Clerk or a designated representative).
The Water Clerk will record the name, address, account information and phone number of complainant and assure them that they will receive a return phone call in 24 hours or the next business day.
The Water Clerk will examine the billing records for inaccuracies and compare current readings to previous year readings for the same time period. The Water Clerk will also verify if there have been any estimated readings and that this bill may be a correction to a previously estimated bill.
The Water Clerk will inform the customer of the findings within the specified time limit. The Water Clerk will assist the customer in understanding their bill. The Water Clerk will also inform the customer how their usage compares with the average usage of similar customers. If the customer still believes there is a problem with the meter, the Water Clerk may create a work order for the designated representative of the Water Department. The creation of the work order and the details of the order are at the discretion of the Water Clerk.
Work orders are reviewed by the Water Department personnel every morning. The work order will be completed as quickly as personnel and materials are available.
The Water Department will verify the functionality of the water meter in question and at the same time attempt to discern if any leaks are present. This is done by asking the customer to cease using all water on their property. When all water use is stopped, the water meter usage indicator is observed for any signs of movement.
This is the extent of the Water Department personnel involvement in leak detection.
The Village of Fonda does not conduct leak detection beyond the customer's meter.
The Water Department lacks the manpower to provide this service to every customer every month and must limit this service to once every three months. A fee as referenced in the schedule of fees will be applied to customers who request Water Department personnel recheck and reread meters each month.
If a leak is determined, the Water Clerk will inform the customer of the leak.
Customers are responsible for all the water that goes through their meter. The Village however cannot excuse a bill for water usage that occurred on the customer's property regardless of the circumstances. If the leak is at the meter or a result of faulty meter installation, the Village will accept responsibility and make the necessary corrections. If the customer is not satisfied with the accuracy of the water meter, they can request an independent company perform a certification and calibration test. The customer will be responsible for the charge of the test if it is determined that results are within accuracy limits derived from AWWA (American Water Works Association). The customer will not be responsible for the charge of the test if the results are not within the accuracy limits derived from AWWA, meaning they are higher than the accuracy limits, and the account will be adjusted to reflect the percentage of difference up to six months' previous water usage.
If the meter is determined to be functioning properly and no billing errors have been found, the customer will be held responsible for the payment of the bill.
Customers may, if they wish, purchase a new meter from the Village of Fonda, which we will install. The meter will be billed at the actual cost to the Village ($100, plus all shipping charges to and from the certification laboratory) plus installation costs ($50 labor, at this time).
In the event that the customer is still unsatisfied, the customer should be given a water bill complaint form.
This form must be filled out by the customer and signed.
The completed complaint form must be returned within 30 days of the date of the bill; complaints for bills over 30 days will not be reviewed.
Complaints should be mailed or delivered to
Village of Fonda
Att: Water Bill Complaint Form
PO Box 447
Fonda, NY 12068
Upon receipt of the water bill complaint form, the statements will be reviewed by the Public Works Manager, the supervisor in charge of water meters, the Finance Manager, the Water Clerk and any additional Village staff necessary to reach a conclusion. During the time period of investigation, the account will be placed on management hold to avoid shutoff or any legal ramifications (liens, collections).
The water bill complaint forms will be reviewed once per month at an appointed time when all necessary parties are available.
If a customer requests to be present, the Water Clerk will contact that customer with the time, date and location of the review.
The final disposition of all water bill review cases rests with the review committee, which will notify you of the disposition of your complaint.
If at any time the customer feels they are being treated unfairly, they have the ability to appeal to the Village Mayor or the Village Board of Trustees.