All the information Fredonia Village administrators needed to hear earlier this week about a potential water rate change came from one of its biggest AgriAmerica clients. Three representatives from the Water Street grape processing plant attended the hearing to express their concerns.
“As one of the biggest contributors to the water and sanitation system in the village of Fredonia, charging us more – I don’t think we have any greater assurance that water quality will be improved. or reduce downtime during our production”, said Eric Huddy, co-founder of AgriAmerica.
Fortunately, the plan proposed by misguided administrator James Lynden was defeated, 3-2. Lynden, who runs a business in the village, remains oblivious to how rising industry rates — and even the State University of New York at Fredonia — are translating into a hostile environment for those who are looking to invest in a community.
Administrators Jon Espersen, David Bird and Nicole Siracuse were quite right to vote to reject the change that sought to remove the basic water and sewer usage rate while moving to a progressive pricing system in volume function. This plan, designed by Lynden, wanted to charge a slightly lower rate for users of 150,000 gallons per quarter or more, which would ultimately save money for low-volume users.
This proposal, however, was short-sighted. The village has to take care of its bigger customers, otherwise the smaller ones will end up paying even more.
These are the simple but painful lessons from the still devastating release of Carriage House in 2015.