Sewer plant bond issue passes in 167-13 vote

Kreable Young | Staff Photographer
Chautauqua property owner Thomas Clingan checks his voter registration with Karen McCann (middle) and Beth Archibald at the Aug. 12 vote for the $8 million wastewater treatment plant bond issue, which was overwhelmingly approved.

On Tuesday, Chautauqua property owners overwhelmingly passed an $8 million bond issue that will finance extensive equipment upgrades at the Chautauqua wastewater treatment plant at the south end of the grounds.

Of the 180 Chautauquans who voted, 167 supported the measure. That represents nearly a 95 percent favorable response.

Chautauqua Utility District Operations Supervisor Tom Cherry expressed his thanks to his constituents.

“The strong favorable vote is gratifying to me and our five CUD commissioners,” Cherry said. He has been spreading the word on the bond issue and its tax consequences for property owners for the past three years. The current commissioners, who must be Chautauqua property owners and registered to vote here, were re-elected on the same ballot.

Passage of the bond proposal will mean imposition of a property tax on Chautauqua property owners and the Institution, which also supported the measure. CUD has been using a rough estimate of an average $400 annual property tax increase over the 30-year period of the bond. The tax increase will be directly tied to the assessed value of the property involved.

Cherry cannot now specify the size of the tax increase, because bids on the project will probably not come in for six months or more. Nor does CUD know what the exact prevailing bond rates will be when the funds are secured.

“We’ll get the information out as soon as we know it,” Cherry said.

He estimates the new equipment will be installed and working no later than the start of the 2017 Chautauqua summer season.