Panel backs plan to raise sewer rate

Ozaukee Press Staff

Sewer rates will again be on the table at the Sept. 17 Village Board meeting after trustees reached a stalemate on a proposed 16.9% increase last week.

The Board of Public Works on Monday recommended the same rate increase as it did last month and sent the matter back to the Village Board for action.

“The only change is that the rate increase would take effect Dec. 20 instead of Sept. 8,” Director of Public Works Amber Thomas said, adding the change in dates is the result of the Village Board not passing the rate increase.

She said there will be a presentation and further discussion during the board meeting Monday, Sept. 17.

If the rate increase doesn’t pass, it will affect the infrastructure needs for the village’s sewer system, Thomas said.

“It’s been pretty tough trying to maintain,” she said.

If approved, the average annual sewer bill would increase by $88.80,  from $590 to $678.80. The proposal is being driven by a significant decrease in water and sewer use, based on a study conducted by Trilogy Consulting of Milwaukee.

The decrease in sewer use accounts for a $202,574 loss in revenue for the utility, the study said.

To makeup for the shortfall, Trilogy recommended a revised sewer rate increase of 16.9% for this year, with annual increases of 15.3% and 15% in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The proposed rates are to be approved each year by the Village Board and are subject to change.

Thomas said if the rate increase doesn’t pass, the Public Works Committee will go back to the drawing board to come up with other options.



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