High rates? No problem

How would residents in the village of Fredonia benefit from a regional water district? Users would pay lower rates for water due to fewer expenses by the village in running a water plant.

What changes would the entity of the village of Fredonia have from reduced rates to its users? Well, it would have one less expense line. But otherwise, the village would lose a portion of its kingdom that is so vital to almost all of the trustees.

That information on the lower rates was from a study presented last week by Rick Henry, an engineer working with the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp. on the project.

Instead of the lower rates bringing excitement, it made village leaders shudder.

“I think the serious nature of asking the Village Board to endorse an application, which is going to ask that the Fredonia water system be closed, is a serious question for the board to consider,” village attorney Sam Drayo said. “We pass that resolution, we’re endorsing a plan to close our Fredonia water works.”

Which is exactly the problem of government today.

In this discussion of a regional water district and rates, Fredonia is totally content with its users paying higher water rates. Those rates, we might add, are more expensive than what people living in desert-laden Arizona pay for water.

But Fredonia leaders shrug their shoulders over the high rates. Most village leaders probably do not even care the Carriage House facility, which had a sister plant close in Silver Creek and another drastically downsize in Dunkirk, pays high rates.

Most of these leaders only care about one thing in this debate: maintaining what the village already has.

This, unfortunately, is why governments in Western New York are so embarrassing. A plan is brought forth for lower rates and all most of the trustees – and the attorney – can worry about is the future of its plant?

Shame on those leaders.

If lower water rates are available, they need to do everything possible to secure those rates – for businesses, non-profits and residents.

Last fall, village leadership practically begged the ownership of the Carriage House facilities for a meeting to do what it could to help keep the company here in uncertain times. Eight months later, you have to believe lower water rates would be a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the village government – in a local decision that has nothing to do with state mandates or Albany edicts – is worried more about the village than one of its major employers and taxpayers.

It is irresponsible, selfish and an all-too-familiar curse from another bloated government of Western New York.