Farmingdale trustees vote to increase water rates by up to 20%

Farmingdale village trustees approved the water rate hike at a virtual meeting Monday. It will be a 15% increase for residential users and 20% for commercial.

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2021, 1:46 AM

Updated 1,203 days ago

Share:

Residents and business owners in a Nassau village are about to see a sizable rise in water bills very soon.
Farmingdale village trustees approved the water rate hike at a virtual meeting Monday. It will be a 15% increase for residential users and 20% for commercial.
The hike has already seen plenty of backlash. At Main Street Pizza Company, a lot of water is used to keep business running.
"We use water for literally everything from making pizza dough, to cleaning dishes, to customer's drinking water," says owner Davide Fabrizi. "Twenty percent is very high. We feel like at a time during a pandemic and everything going on there could have been a better option for small businesses and residents."
Mayor Ralph Ekstrand says he kept a 2015 promise not to raise rates for five years and delayed an increase this past summer due to the pandemic. But he says the time has come for an increase.
"Unfortunately, we still have to pay our bills, and it's not a tremendous amount of money," says Ekstrand. "The average person is paying $8 or $9 a month more for water."
Ekstrand says the money from the hike will go toward replacing Farmingdale's water tower, which is nearly 60 years old and is seeing signs of age.
"It's going to be $4.5 million to build a new water tower. We put it out for bond and the increases will mostly cover the cost of the bonding for the new water tower," he says.
Fabrizi says he understands that the money will go toward big projects but still thinks it's a tough choice.
"Twenty percent seems kind of steep," he says. "It's just one more thing that we have to deal with during a very difficult time."
The increase goes into effect next month. Work on the water tower is expected to begin this summer.


More from News 12