November 30, 2021

Homer considers $50 fee for meter laggards

So many property owners have neglected to give the village of Homer access to their properties to update water meters — hundreds of them — the village is considering establishing a monthly fine to encourage them to respond.

If amended, a law in the Village of Homer would charge a $50 fee to residents who don’t give the village access to old water meters to swap them out for new ones. A public hearing to gain comment on the plan will be Oct. 13

Hearing Set

The village of Homer will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 on whether to charge a $50 fee for residents who have yet to get their water meters updated. Got a comment? Email To arrange for a new meter: Call 607-749-3322

The fee comes as Tanya Digenaro told village trustees Tuesday during a meeting that there were still more than 400 meters that need to be replaced.

“We’re probably three-quarters of the way done,” said Lawrence Barber, the superintendent of water and sewer, Wednesday afternoon.

Barber said the city of Cortland, town of Cortlandville and village Homer all got a state grant to update water meters to make them easier to read and enable the village to give more accurate bills.

“It’s all computer-generated stuff now,” Barber said. The technology would allow the village to pinpoint the day and time of a household’s water usage, in case someone were to complain about the bill being too high.

Barber said some of the bills are estimated because the village can’t get a proper reading.

“I definitely think we need to do this because it’s not right for the rest of the community if we’re estimating, and on top of that it’s not right for the owners because we could be grossly overestimating and it’s not fair to the village because we could be grossly underestimating,” said Deputy Mayor Pat Clune.

Part of the issue stems from how old the systems are.

“Some of them are 30 years old,” Barber said, noting best practice calls for updating meters every 10 years.

However, Barber told trustees he has been having a hard time getting residents to arrange times to have the meters changed.

Barber said he has put leaflets at residences multiple times and letters have been sent out.

“I think on James Street, we sent out 25 of them and I had one person call out of 25,” he said.