Sewer Rent Program

Municipality: Port Chester
County: Westchester County
Population: 10,001 to 50,000
Type: Village

2017 Local Government Achievement Award

Village Hall: (914) 939-5200

Port Chester is undergoing a full sewer system evaluation and repair program to bring the village's century-old infrastructure up to environmental compliance standards. The repairs and replacement work will mitigate inflow/infiltration of stormwater and sanitary sewage and will increase the system's overall efficiency. In order to pay for these infrastructure improvements, the village adopted a sewer rent program to levy taxes on system users based on the volume of water discharge into the system.

This program has allowed Port Chester to conduct a full system evaluation and replace all necessary infrastructure. Prevention of stormwater inflow and infiltration will increase the efficiency of the sewer system, preventing system overloads and potential large-scale treatment backups. The program allows for yearly expenditures to ensure that the entire system will reach maximum efficiency in just a few years' time.

This program will reduce the need for future site-specific repairs, which are more costly than full sewer line replacements. The sewer rent fees serve as the funding source to reduce the need for future maintenance costs and hours as well as additional costs and service inefficiencies due to system overloads because of inflow.

The total estimated cost of the village-wide system evaluation and replacements will be $14 million. To date, Port Chester has spent approximately $7.6 million over the four years during which the project has been taking place. Port Chester received an EPA Compliance Grant for $725,000 and a CDBG grant for $750,000. This program allows Port Chester to recoup infrastructure improvement costs in a manner that is proportional to property owners' utilization levels. The program allows Port Chester to raise these costs without raising real estate taxes.

Over the long term, replacing the damaged infrastructure will ensure system efficiency and reduce system overloads, which are costly to mitigate and repair. This large-scale renovation will add 50 to 100 years of functionality to the system, reducing frequency of breakdowns, and environmental contamination due to cracked and damaged sewer lines. Additionally, this project will result in cost savings due to the holistic manner in which work is conducted. This saves money in terms of labor, supplies, and engineering costs.