Lake George Village’s new $24 million wastewater treatment plant is expected to cost more than $1 million a year in operating expenses and debt service.
That’s twice as much as the annual cost of the current plant, which the state’s Environmental Conservation department says leaches pollutants into Lake George.
According to Mayor Bob Blais, the new treatment plant is responsible for roughly 20% of spending in the Village’s proposed $5.2 million budget.
Although General Fund spending will increase by $331,000, rising from $5,481,321 to $5,728,726, the Village’s actual tax rate will drop, from $6.43 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation to roughly $5.64 per thousand.
Last year’s revaluation raised the collective value of all taxable properties within the Village by $35 million.
“When your assessed valuation rises, you divide the total value of your properties by the amount to be levied, giving you a lower the tax rate,” said Blais.
The assessed value of Lake George Village, minus those properties exempt from real estate taxes, is now $265,345,784., said Blais.
The Village of Lake George estimates it must collect $1.468 million in property taxes to finance its 2021-22 operations, according to the preliminary budget that officials expect to approve before June 1, the start of the Village’s fiscal year. That figure is slightly higher than amounts raised last year.
According to Blais, the costs of operating the plant include $360,000 for electricity and $80,000 to $100,000 for heat.
“It’s going to be a brand new wastewater treatment plant, with the most advanced technology available, so we expected it to be expensive to operate,” said Blais.
The plant’s costs to Village taxpayers will stabilize once a $9.4 state grant has been received and the Town of Lake George’s Caldwell Sewer District starts contributing its share of costs, expected to be roughly 40% of the whole.
So as to not raise tax rates in the interim, the Village’s Board of Trustees has agreed to increase parking fees from $1 to $2 per hour.