Water woes, upstate and down

The DEP recently announced the purchase of another 1,026 acres of land in New York City's west-of-Hudson watershed, prompting howls of outrage from the usual suspects.

Dean Frazier, Delaware County Watershed affairs commissioner, spoke at a public meeting March 24 at the Delaware County Courthouse, questioning the need for additional acquisitions in the Cannonsville and Pepacton basins.

Frazier said Friday that the city water department rate payers are beginning to complain about costs.

"It's not surprising the ratepayers are getting upset," Frazier said. "The city is paying approximately $115 to $120 million in upstate real property taxes, and the more land they buy the more they will pay. The city is in dire straits financially, and they will have to pay land taxes forever."

A few million a year in real estate taxes absolutely pales in comparison to the staggering levy building another filtration plant for New York's water would incur. Nevertheless, Frazier is right--New York's water rates are going up, and consumers are angry. From a comment on a New York Times story on the DEP's recent decision to hike water rates almost 13 percent:

They’ve been getting HUGE increases for years…the bill in my 6 unit bldg has gone from $2200 to $4500 in just the last 5 years. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…I will attend my first hearing and WON’T be in a good mood. And you can tell Bloomberg I ain’t turning in my census either….