In a few days, a number of Hudson Valley residents may see a huge increase in their water bill to "offset cash flow challenges."

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Hudson Valley Post recently reviewed the Village of New Paltz board meeting from December 2020 and discovered New Paltz is considering increasing the water rate by 20 percent starting in March.

"The increase will be used to offset cash flow challenges with reimbursements and our groundwater well project where we are receiving assistance from the NYC DEP," the board meeting's agenda stated about the reason for the water bill increase.

Below is what the meeting agenda stated about the water increase:

Consider water rate increase of 20% across the board for March 2021 billing - but still only for X of months? On 11/4 we discussed temporarily raising water rates by 10% for 12 months (not sewer rates) for the three largest user groups (rate steps 4, 5, and 6). They use greater than 200,000 gallons per quarter. They currently pay $6.24, $6.86, and $7.55 per 1,000 gallons, respectively. The increase will be used to offset cash flow challenges with reimbursements and our groundwater well project where we are receiving assistance from the NYC DEP. We can revisit this increase in 12 months to see if we need to keep it in place or would be able to return to the rates we have now once the new wells are online and we're using less Catskill Aqueduct water that costs $1.83 per 1,000 gallons.

Town of New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez says the Town of New Paltz would also need to increase the water rates if the Village of New Paltz does.

"My understanding is that this increase is needed to offset losses associated with reduced water usage over the last year due to COVID. My hope is that with State and Local aid as part of the American Rescue plan act of 2021 (or what ever ends up making it through the Senate) it will not be necessary. If it is the Town will be required to also raise rates in our water districts since our rates are tied to the Village rates and we can not absorb such a large increase," Bettez told Hudson Valley Post in an email.

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