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Port Chester Trustees Examine Sewer Savings

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — Residents could see a big savings in their tax bills under a new system discussed Wednesday night by the Village of Port Chester's Board of Trustees.

The current system charges taxpayers for water use based on property assessments. The new system would charge residents for the water they actually use. According to Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, the village's new sewer system could signal a "paradigm shift" in the way residents pay taxes.

"I can't believe the numbers because it's pretty drastic when you look at it," Village Manager Chris Russo said. He projects a savings of $105.04 for the average single-family homeowner within Port Chester.

With the removal of sewage fees from property tax assessments, the average single-family home in Port Chester assessed at $463,283 is set to save $236 on property taxes. According to Russo, the average for the separate sewer fee is $130.97.

The change may occur because the village entered into an agreement earlier this year with United Water Westchester that allows it to investigate changes in the way it charges for sewers.

According to a presentation by Russo, commercial properties are responsible for 61 percent of total village water consumption while residents are responsible for only 34 percent of water use.

The board also discussed the capital improvements proposed in the 2012-13 budget, which total just more than $6 million. About half or $3 million of that amount would be put in a separate fund dedicated to sewer renovations.

About half of the remaining $3 million set aside for capital improvements would go toward road resurfacing, sidewalk repairs and storm drain improvements. The other half, $1.5 million, would be for potential property purchases, Russo said.

Currently, the village has only $874,957 lined up in capital revenue, leaving it with a capital budget deficit of $2.1 million.

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