Bristol Harbour Village wins reduced water hike

Bristol Harbour Village Association has won its battle against a proposed 116 percent water rate hike sought by water works owners Todd and Laura Cook.

In a recent decision, the New York State Public Service Commission approved instead a reduced increase of 74.82 percent for residential customers of the resort community.

“The main takeaway is that for the first time ever, the Bristol Harbour commercial customers … will now be paying their fair share of the costs of the water usage,” said Ted Russell, a resident of Bristol Harbour Village, in an email about the decision.

The Cooks own the water company servicing Bristol Harbour residents, while they are also commercial water customers as they own Bristol Harbour Resort. The resort has four commercial facilities — a lodge, hotel, sewer treatment plant and golf course.

“Of the $95,816 increase that was granted, the commercial customers will be paying $67,496 which was the main objective” for the Bristol Harbour Village Association, Russell said.

The Cooks could not be reached and did not return messages about the rate decision.

Bristol Harbour Village Association (BHVA) represents about 360 water customers at the real estate development of condominiums, townhomes and single-family residences. BHVA filed a complaint about the rate request early last year to the state Public Service Commission, which had the authority to reject, modify or deny it. At a hearing before the commission last August at South Bristol Town Hall, residents argued the increase was unfair and urged the commission to reject the 116 percent increase. Those who spoke on behalf of the water company argued the company had not been granted a rate increase since March 2009. According to the company, the increase was needed to meet the cost of providing service, cover maintenance, labor expenses and investments to infrastructure and new meter reading equipment and software.

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