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Water Issues: What Do You Pay?

Are you happy with the service?

Folks in Putnam get their water in a number of ways — including more than half a dozen special districts in the alone.

Last week, a user posted the following comment on the Southeast-Brewster Facebook page:

$469.38 water bill on Peaceable Hill water district. Does anyone else in the country pay that for a two person residence every quarter?!

Deputy Town Supervisor Bob Coll and Town Board trustee Lynne Eckardt said they are always happy to speak to residents about water issues, and that a broken meter, a leak or a running toilet may be to blame in this instance.

Regardless, Patch wants to know if Putnam residents are satisfied with their water situation.

Leave your information (including your frequency of payments, source and town of residency) in the comments section below.

lillian philbin August 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I live in a special water district, Eagles Ridge. I moved here 8 years ago and while I was given some idea there would be a water bill (to pay for bonds to maintain the water system) I had no ldea it would steadily rise every year. In fact I was recently told new water towers would have to be built - they are now being patched up do to various problems. I now pay $495.83 a quarter! This has nothing to do with water use. I am a senior who lives alone in a condo. Along with the taxes this is very difficult to pay and I understand these condos are difficult to sell. While the Town officials have tried to explain why we have these districts they do not seem fair for struggling residents. What is not clear i why our county taxes do not contribute. As far as the board trustees - they obviously do not understand why we are paying this bill. This is not a good sign for people running for office. Lillian Philbin
D.. August 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM
The amount I pay is approx $500 per quarter. Never went over the allotment of 10,000 gals? Or is it 12,000 gals. Anyway, we have a meter that gets read in Brewster Heights, and it backs up my claim. We conserve water but are penalized regardless. Whats the point of meters if everyone pays the same. Who would ever buy a house here knowing the cost of wAter! Just another example of Town mismanagement, croneyism, back door deals. Let the town management take pay cuts, cut down on town vehicles, watch employees during work hours when they visit their homes with city vehicles.. But, nothing will be done, nothing ever is, just a show for the town folks...
Wendy August 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Brewster Heights also, and just looked at my bill - $485.50 a quarter, and we've never gone over the allotment either. When I moved here it was $60/quarter. I don't see it ever getting better. I agree with D...what's the point of the meters, we all pay the same.
TracyD August 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I am also in Brewster Heights and my husband writes the checks, but I know it's way over $400. We are a family of three and are all at work/school most of the day, most of the year so I don't think we go over either. We moved here in 2005 and were unpleasantly surprised after we moved in to receive the first bill. We'd gone through the entire homebuying process and not a word was said by anyone about this bill, so we were pretty angry. If we'd known we still may have bought the house, but we should have been informed as it's not a small amount of money.
Bob Dumont August 22, 2012 at 01:17 PM
ugh..all I can say is the price of water in the village is the same as a brick of gold!! It is pretty unpleasant.
Susan Riley August 22, 2012 at 01:19 PM
The service charge alone is outrageous. We use only about $20 worth of actual water costs per quarter, but the service cost by Mt Ebo is about 3 times that. And the sewer charges are even higher. There is no incentive to consumers to save water as it's the service charges that are to blame for the high costs. I have complained about this in the past and of course no one has done anything.
Jr August 22, 2012 at 01:51 PM
It makes no sence at all the amount we all pay. It sounds to be the same amount for everyone. We live in eagles ridge and don't have meters but from what I've seen here we all pay the same amount. What is the point of the meters then?? It's all B.S.
Randy Maurer August 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Water as we know it is a precious commodity. Houses that have private wells are also under the gun. A new water well is about $10,000. What happens if your well goes dry, which happened to me twice when I had a house in Lake Carmel. We also have to watch the anount of water usage. I have a house in Florida. In Florida you pay twice for water.You get charged when you turn on the faucet to get water, they then double the water usage charge as waste water going down the sewer, plus tax's and fee's of course.
Cindy Gromofsky August 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Peaceable Hill Water District pays $.023 per gallon for water purchased from the Village. On top of that there is a $125.30 flat rate. To put this in perspective, NYC residents pay $.011/gallon for water with no flat rate on top. The National average per gallon rate for water is $.002/gallon so we are paying over 10 times the National average. Residents from our district have met with the Southeast Town Board multiple times. The plan is to extricate from the Village wells and be self sufficient. Test wells have been dug and found to be viable for us to connect to, however, there is a large price tag for actually digging them, running the connection and installing the pumps. These costs will be shared by everyone in the district, so the bottom line is that our water bills are going to stay where they are for the foreseeable future. This coupled with our rather large property tax annual rate of $23/$1000 and the entrance fee to live here Rivals Westhchester County for the highest in the Nation. We love it here, but at what point does the cost outweigh the beauty? For many of our neighbors, this point has already been reached.
r. August 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Its ridiculous. Not only is our water brown (draw a bath from time to time, you'll see.) We also cannot drink the water. It smells of chlorine and it tastes terrible. So, on top of water bills in excess of $2000/year, we pay another $528 in bottled water a year. Yup, this is Brewster, not Beverly Hills. Over $2500 in water bills a year when you include the fact we have to BUY our water and we cant drink it. And the folks on our "condo bored" (Yup that was intentional misspelling) are essentially folks who dont give a crap. They're on the board becasue they are bored and/or want to feel important. Really, everyone thinks they are a joke, becasue they have no ambition to actually get anything done.
Kathy McGrath August 22, 2012 at 05:08 PM
This is interesting, I do the books for a water cmpany that services households on Birch Hill Road and Highview Terrace in Brewster. Several households have not paid their bills because they are claiming they are being overcharged at $264.00/ quarter!
Alfonse August 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Interesting.....anyone have any information on the Peaceable Hill bills?
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:26 PM
When did you move here, Wendy?
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:27 PM
That does sound like an unpleasant surprise, TJD. Have you talked to you neighbors about whether these costs were similar before 2005?
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Thanks for the insight, Randy. Interesting to hear about the water situation outside of this area.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:29 PM
All great points, Cindy. I'm curious as to what water rates/sources are like in Dutchess. Seems like that's the next logical place for many folks, if they find Westchester and Putnam to be too expensive.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Where do you live, R.?
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Very interesting, Kathy. Thanks for sharing that bit of info.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:31 PM
So far the only numbers I've seen for Peaceable Hill is the one I included in the brief above.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:31 PM
A Village resident told me, via email, that he pays "about $160 - $170" per quarter for a family of five.
karin scheele August 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM
I live on Birch Hill road,and pay my bill like clockwork...I thought it was pretty high,but am shocked at what others are paying! I am also saddened to see how divisive this issue is among the 17 (?) houses on the well.
Marilyn Merkel August 23, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Very interesting indeed!!! District 7 should look into this situation and be concerned!! District 7 includes Highview Terrace and VOTERS. may be very interested WHO IS AND WHO IS NOT PAYING THEIR WATER BILL!!!! WHo gets away with not paying at all for years.????
lillian philbin August 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM
This issue should not fade away. All residents should request a meeting at Town Hall with all involved water district staff.
BrewsterGuy August 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM
The most idiotic part of all this is that we are surrounded by massive reservoirs that are full or water, but in Southeast-Brewster we can't get any of it. The water situation here is insane and corrupt as possible. I would encourage people to NOT MOVE here because it is so crazy.
karin scheele August 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM
The thing I find most disturbing is that I have been told that we aren't allowed to dig our own well. I was told this by two companies that I contacted for estimates. They refused to even show up.
Southeast Resident August 25, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Marilyn please do not use the SE Patch as a political campaign smearing forum. The people of southeast get enough mud-slinging junk mail everyday and politcal phone calls. We don't need you to pollute our local patch with your political views. It seems you have a personal issue with this gentleman and it should be kept as that. Thank you... Southeast Resident.
steve saperstein August 26, 2012 at 04:38 AM
i live in the mt. brook water district. when the state mandated that all water systems irregardless of their size be brought up to the same standards , the town which had taken over this water district had to purchase a bond to fund the improvements that were necessitated. this more than doubled the bills for the 33 houses on the system. the problem stems from the allowance in the past of private developers to put in water systems which turn out to be totally inadequate in any number of ways. once your property is on such a system you are locked in forever. if you chose to install your own well you are still obligated to pay the system water bills also.
brewsterheightscrap February 25, 2013 at 04:38 PM
485 each quarter is ridiculous.. I'm also in Brewster Heights.. I average around 5000 gallons each quarter. my neighbor uses around 15,000 gallons each quarter. our bills are the same. looks like I'll have to start turning that hose on a bit. just got my new bill. Now I have to pay a 2 percent fee for using my credit card. that's another 9.70 .. don't believe I was ever told i was going to pay a fee for using my credit card.. goodbye New York

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