JAMESTOWN – Board of Public Utility customers won’t see any rate increases in 2019.
That was the report delivered by BPU General Manager David Leathers to the Jamestown City Council when he delivered his final report of the year to city Lawmakers on Monday night.
Leathers said that the BPU approved the budgets for all five utility divisions in October and November.
“The good news is that for the five divisions of the utility each budget has been approved and with each of those five budgets there are no rate increases,” Leathers said. “All of our schedule of rates for our water resources division there are very minor changes in all of them, if any changes at all. There’s no changes to the electric tariff that the Public Service Commission provides oversight and regulatory decision-making on and then water, waste-water, solid waste and district heat also have no changes.”
Besides a report on utility rates for next year, Leathers also offered an update on recycling, saying that more residents than ever are participating in the city recycling program. However, costs associated with recycling have led to some challenges.
“There’s certainly challenges that we have in the recycling market where we’re having to pay to dispose of the recycling materials. That’s something new that’s occurred over the last couple of years but we’re managing through that and appreciate the support of our board in the decision-making related to that,” Leathers said. “For the solid waste budget we were able to hold the rate with the same recycling program, even though we’re seeing those increased costs. So we’re going to work on the first quarter of next year on the options related to recycling, but as of January 1 of this year there are no changes to the rate or related to recycling program for our customers.”
City Council President Marie Carrubba asked about the new energy efficient LED streetlights that have been installed around the city and if there has been any feedback. Leathers said that there’s been no complaints with the lights and the city will likely seek funding to help pay for the installation of even more of them in the future.
And Leathers also announced that after about 17 years of the previous format, the BPU has updated its website, which can be found at JamestownBPU.com.
Leathers appears 3 to 4 times each year before the city council to provide an overview of the city-owned utility operation.
In other council news from Monday night, Public Works chair Tom Nelson announced the city of Jamestown will recieve nearly $340,000 from New York State as part of its Bridge NY program.
The funding will be used to replace and upgrade a culvert near Steel Street, next to Tanners garage.