Village: pay water bills, avoid hefty costs

Village: pay water bills, avoid hefty costs
Village of Granville Clerk and Treasurer Registrar Rick Roberts.

Village taxpayers in Granville are going to be encouraged to either pay their water bill in full or pay monthly installments until bills are paid off to avoid a hefty bill in 2022.

As a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Utility Termination Moratorium Law signed into effect on May 11, village clerk and treasurer registrar Rick Roberts says that no service can be discontinued or relieved until Dec. 31.

With this said, it is expected by Roberts for the Granville Village Board to take his recommendation of setting July 31 as the deadline to pay the village water bill, but this will be determined at the June 7 board meeting.

 If not paid in full by July 31, an increase of 1% each month will be tacked onto the water bill until it is paid off.

As a penalty for not paying by July 31, the water re-levy will be doubled in 2022, which could result in a taxpayer’s mortgage escrow payment significantly increasing.

“When this double levy comes, their mortgage payment may end up going up,” Roberts said. “What will happen is once we get the village bills out, sometime in the next 15 days, new statements will be issued to all customers who did not remit water payments this spring. A letter is going to go in there that summarizes this information… We didn’t even know about this in February, it wasn’t on anybody’s radar, so we billed everybody. You have until March 1 to pay, if you don’t pay on March 1, there’s a 5% late charge.”

The water bill payment is set at $304.50 per household unit, with the sewer bill being $405 per household unit. However, with the new legislation, the unpaid water bill would not carry over into the village taxpayer or the Property Town & County bill in 2022, as the sewer bill does.

Roberts said that both the water and sewer bills typically have an initial late fee penalty of 5% with an additional 1% tacked on for every month not paid. The water bill’s 1% additional fee was waived due to the pandemic.

“This is nothing the village did. This is a state law. We’re trying to mute the impacts, blunt the impacts for our constituents any way that we can. We are sympathetic to people who have been negatively affected by the pandemic,” Roberts said. “We don’t mind taking partial payments, we will do that. We’re going to give you additional time to pay without interest in penalty beyond what was already assessed, and we’re trying to educate you. This is an unusual circumstance based on state law.”

Roberts said he’s willing to help guide village taxpayers in the process in any way he can.

“I just am sympathetic to that customer who has that mortgage payment,” Roberts said. “I think if people pay now, they’re going to avoid additional charges.”

Anyone who has questions or further concerns may contact Roberts Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 518-642-2640.