Updated 10/22/2012 07:47 PM
Rome's 9 percent water rate increase explained
If you get your water from Rome, you can expect the flow of cash from your wallet to increase next year. The city plans on increasing rates in order to pay for three upcoming projects, estimated at more than $28 million. YNN's Andrew Sorensen takes a look at what they plan on doing and why all three projects are hitting residents at the same time.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ROME, N.Y. -- It's a good thing Thomas Andrews isn't still wet behind the ears, because the Rome Water Filtration Plant Chief Operator is about to be flooded with work.
"The plant is 25 years old, and some of the equipment that we have in the plant is so obsolete that it's hard for us to get replacement parts for," he said.
City officials have been planning to rehabilitate the plant for a while. But, now they have two other matters that have popped up, and you'll likely be paying for all three at once.
"We're bringing the rates up so we can afford to pay the bonds off," said Mayor Joe Fusco.
Fusco expects the rates to go up nine percent in five towns, but he said these projects are absolutely necessary. First up is a safety issue in a shale tunnel. If left alone, it could cut service off entirely for an estimated three weeks.
"Different size of rock would keep on falling to the floor of the tunnel, which was changing the shape of the tunnel and also changing the integrity of the tunnel," Andrews explained.
They're going to start at the opening of the tunnel and go backwards, relining the old shale with concrete. And even though it's only about a mile to the dam, it's expected to take about nine months.
The second project is less daunting, but more technical, and certainly more expensive.
It's referred to as the LT2, or, "Long Term 2 surface water rule that was passed by the EPA back in 2006," Public Works Commissioner Frank Tallarino said. "It dealt with open reservoirs."
The city is weighing two enhanced water tank options to comply with the rule by 2016, but they will likely go with a UV light filter instead, which can supposedly kill certain viruses and bacteria other filters miss.
Tallarino said despite the massive amount of work, customers probably won't notice a thing.
"Other than their bill at the end of all this, no not really," he said.
He said the cost is definitely worth it, because the EPA would likely fine them if they didn't do the work, and then force them to do it anyway.
Rome's Public Works Department said they expect the work to take about two years to complete.