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Norfolk landlord wants water/sewer questions answered

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NORFOLK - A Norfolk landlord is calling for town officials to be more transparent with their water and sewer billing procedure so the public can have a better idea of the bills being paid by town residents.

In November, the Norfolk town board made decisions to raise the water rate $5 per quarter and the sewer payment $10 per quarter in 2014. This year’s water bill is $276 and the sewer rate is $332, totaling $608, or $152 per quarter.

“Is there any possible way that we can get the water and sewer bills put on the (town) web site, where we can find out just exactly what’s going on and why everybody is biting so much of the bullet here? I’ve got eight people living in (my) building, and I’m paying $5,900 a year for water and sewer,” Roger P. Conte said. “There are people that have got animals and farms and stuff that are just paying basic water. ... There should be a web site so you can tell who’s paying how because you can’t tell.”

“If you don’t pay your water bills, there’s a list generated every year,” Town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice responded.

Mr. Pernice added that the county pays the town when people don’t pay their water and sewer bills. Town Clerk Kathy Emlaw reinforced the idea.

“The town gets it. It all gets relevied, whatever is not paid and when I pay the tax form after the end of January to the supervisor, all of that is paid,” Ms. Emlaw said.

“That (money), does that go back into capital gain or how is that reflected on the water project? Is that added onto the principal of the bill of what we’re paying?” Mr. Conte asked.

Ms. Emlaw stated that the money goes back into water revenues.

In response to Mr. Conte’s claims that some people in the municipality are likely not paying for their water, Councilman Robert J. Harvey questioned the point of making that information public.

“What gain is it for everybody to know who isn’t paying their bills?” he asked. “I don’t think that we need to be displaying people that don’t pay bills to the public. I think that’s it’s pretty much a private matter, isn’t it?”

“I don’t think it’s whether or not the bills are paid, it’s how many users are being paid for in that household. I don’t know who lives in this house or that house and how many. I don’t care,” Ms. Emlaw said. “If there’s two units in their two apartments, it gets two bills.”

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