Lima Faces Water Cost Hike or Supplier Switch

(Photo/Anna Leslie)

LIMA – Lima’s water contract with the city of Rochester will be expiring soon, but with a cost increase on the way, the Town Board is considering other water options.

This fall, Lima’s 30-year-old water contract with Rochester will expire. If the town renews that contract, the agreement will span 20 more years. According to Town Attorney Steve Kruk, however, continuing with the Rochester supplier will mean an increase in cost.

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“Several years ago, the water authority started charging the supplemental rate that is going to be passed on to us,” Kruk stated. “They said they are going to give us one more year without that supplement and in another year we would be subject to it.”

According to Town Supervisor Pete Yendell, that increased fee is because Rochester uses Monroe County pipes.

“Monroe County charges the city of Rochester an additional fee for running water through their pipelines,” Yendell said.

At this time, the amount of the additional fee is unknown.

Kruk explained that when the town first contracted with Rochester, getting water directly from Monroe County was impossible because of regulations. Now, that is no longer the case.

“When we got this water the only option available for us legally was the city of Rochester,” said Kruk. “There was no possibility of water from any other source. And since 30 years ago that has changed.”

Yendell stated that he, Kruk, Village Mayor Carl Luft, Town Highway Superintendent Keith Arner, and Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Ben Luft plan to investigate the town’s future water options. Yendell ultimately said that determining Lima’s future water source will likely depend on who can give the town the best price.

“It may wind up being a little negotiation back and forth between the county and the city,” Yendell stated.