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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY
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Port Chester Sewer Program Signals 'Paradigm' Shift

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla said that the village's proposed 2012-13 budget signals a "paradigm shift" in the way the taxpayers will pay for services.

"What we're talking about here is fundamentally shifting the way we think about paying for services," Pilla said.

The shift begins with the implementation of the village's new sewer system present in the proposed budget. Instead of relying on tax assessments to determine the way residents pay for the use of municipal sewage systems, the village will charge a fee to each taxpayer based on potable water usage.

Pilla and Village Manager Chris Russo believe that the new system will take some of the financial burden off of homeowners as the village overhauls its decrepit sewers.

"The cost of maintaining our sewer system is based more on how much water you use than the value of your property, so we are going to shift it to a more rational basis that will make it more equitable," Pilla said.

Russo said that the village's interim agreement with United Water of Westchester has granted him access to the water consumption data essential to the project. The project is still pending.

The budget, which was presented by Russo and Village Treasurer Leonie Douglas at Monday's board of trustees meeting, totals $36.2 million, and proposes a complaint tax cap levy of 2.40 percent. The overall increase in expenditures over last year's budget totals $1.34 million.

With village tax assessments decreasing by a total of $204 million or 7.28 percent, taxes on the average home, valued at $463,283 in Port Chester, will decrease by around $220. Since the tax assessment numbers from Rye Town are not yet set in stone, those numbers are still a moving target.

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