CHAMPLAIN -- Water rates here will jump 9 percent starting July 1.

With average usage for a family of four estimated at 10,000 to 12,000 gallons per quarter, the increase for a residential user would be between $25 and $30 every three months.

The service fee will go from $25.50 per quarter to $27.

The Champlain Village Board had no choice but to hike rates and fees, said Mayor Jeffrey Moore.

The closure of large water user Champlain Laundry & Cleaners hurt revenues, he said, and there's debt service for a new pump.

"The big thing is employee benefits and wages," the mayor said. "They always go up."

He estimated the water fund will end the fiscal year as much as $12,000 in the red.

"We have to make that up next year," he said, "so it's added on for expenses."

Water-system operation is expected to cost $212,600 in 2007-08, with yearly billings estimated at $207,750 and other revenues totaling $4,850.

Rates will also go up for commercial users within the village, from $4.11 to $4.48 per 1,000 gallons. Commercial customers outside village limits now pay $7.94 per 1,000 gallons and will see a jump to $8.65.

And the water purchased by the Town of Champlain for its districts will come with a price tag of $7.46 per 1,000, compared to the present $6.84.

Sewer rates will climb from $14.39 to $14.82.

"I don't feel they're in line," Barcomb said of the new water figures. "They raised their residents 25 cents and raised ours 62 cents."

Town officials hope to negotiate better rates, the supervisor said.

"We're certainly hoping this water and sewer study we're doing addresses this issue," he continued. "There's no room in the town for future growth at these rates."

Moore, too, pins hopes on that study, which is a joint effort of the two Champlains and the Village of Rouses Point to examine the existing systems and look at possible improvements and expansions.

Meanwhile, the Village Board is working hard to make the water system as efficient and cost-effective as possible, the mayor said.

Not all meters in the past have been operational, so getting them all online is a priority.

That, Moore said, will provide better accuracy.

There's $7,000 in the new budget to put toward a second new pump, with plans to replace a third old and inefficient one down the line.

The wastewater fund for 2007-08 projects expenditures at $378,700 with yearly billings of $300,800 and other revenues of $77,900. The rate will go up 3 percent.

"We wanted to make sure we covered our expenses for next year," said Moore, noting that fund appears to be coming out about even.

Village residents will pay $4.22 per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 12 cents. Commercial users inside the village will see a hike of 11 cents, to $7.34 per 1,000 gallons. Outside commercial customers will pay $14.69, up 43 cents.

"We kept the expenses down as much as we could," Moore said.

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