Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie says officials February 18 will be scheduling a public hearing to talk about the sewer rates in the Village that could be going up due to increases in operating costs and funding the multi-million dollar renovation work at the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie during a radio interview. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

There were preliminary discussions during a meeting February 10 with more talk on the schedule for the February 18 meeting.

Deemie says the base minimum of $50 dollars per fiscal quarter for up to 1,000 cubic feet of sewage is expected to remain the same but the amount of the charge for over that amount hasn’t been set. 

The Republican says his preference would be to raise sewer fees in small amounts like 25 to 50-cents instead of an expected increase from the current $5.25 for usage over the 1,000 cubic feet limit to $7.25.  He says, given political cycles, many elected officials hesitate to vote in even small increases.

Deemie says for now, the discussions are only for the sewer rates, not the water or garbage collection fees.  However, residents should bear in mind, there is no individual meter that measures solid waste from the water that goes through the customer’s system.  The current average bill for water, sewer and garbage for residents in the Village is $160.

The public hearing is expected to be scheduled for March 3.

The Village will be setting the water, sewer and refuse collection rates during the budget process, that begins in mid-March.