North County water district revenue up

The city of Dunkirk saw a boost in expected revenues at the December Finance Committee meeting.

The increase to the city coffers comes from the sale of water to the North Chautauqua County Water District.

“The average water sold on a daily basis comes out to 394,283 gallons, of which approximately 68,000 gallons were previous customers of the city,” Public Works Director Randy Woodbury stated. “Our increased water sales from Oct. 1 is 326,283 gallons on average per day, which is very close to the estimate we had.”

The billing for water is currently set at $3.57 per thousand gallons. This equals to an increase of about $1,165 a day to the city of Dunkirk in water sales.

“Traditionally this is a low time of the year,” Woodbury reminded the committee. “Especially for the west town, the Van Buren district, etc. — those are more summer residential areas.”

Chairman-at-large Andy Woloszyn was very happy to hear the news, but questioned what the ratio of lost gallons to paid gallons was.

Woodbury informed him that it was all metered and billed, but there was a slight hang-up as an undiscovered leak at the Lucas Avenue Steel Plant demolition became apparent.

“When the demolition happened, the 20-inch water line had turned out to be leaking all these years,” Woodbury began. “When that line was shut off we found we saved about 325,000 gallons a day that we were losing; this was treated water that was going down the drain, and it’s possible for leaks not to be detected because they go into storm drains.”

The line, Woodbury mentioned, was under potential contamination and so remains off; however, it is a main artery in two directions.

“It feeds the high school area and is a secondary feed to the North County Water District,” he added. “The water line has been contaminated by some corrosive chemicals making it inoperable; we didn’t know that during that project and we’re trying to get grant money to fix it.”