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Bristol Harbour Village preparing to sue town

The South Bristol Town Board Sept. 11 unanimously approved a sewer rate increase for Bristol Harbour Village homeowners of more than 64 percent. An average homeowner will see a jump from $504 to $893 a year in the sewer fee, according to the association representing the development’s 347 households.

It’s a rate hike villagers are ready to fight. Contending the increase is unjust, unfair and unreasonable — and a violation of rights — Bristol Harbour Village Association (BHVA) put the Town Board on notice it is prepared to file an Article 78 proceeding, challenging the decision in court.

“The South Bristol Town Board’s approval of this fee increase, we contend, was irrational, arbitrary, and capricious, and in violation of the rights of BHVA’s members to due process and equal protection, among other things, under the United States and New York Constitutions,” stated PhillipsLytle LLP, the firm representing the association, in a Sept. 25 letter to the Bristol Sewage Disposal Corporation, owned by Todd and Laura Cook. The film noted that all BHVA members’ payments on or after Sept.12, 2017, of sewer fees charged by the corporation “are made under protest, until further notice.”

The proposed increase was controversial for months. Villagers objected to the dramatic spike in their sewer rate, along with a proposed 116 percent water rate hike. The water rate hike, involving the water works also owned by the Cooks, remains under review by the state Public Service Commission, which will have the final say.

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