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Shorewood sewer rates increasing 33 percent

Funds needed to pay for improvements

Feb. 5, 2013

Shorewood - Sewer rates will increase by 33 percent in the village of Shorewood, effective Feb. 15.

The Village Board on Monday adopted an ordinance authorizing the increase, at the recommendation of village staff.

The rate increase is needed to cover debt service on bonds issued in 2011 and 2012 for projects that already have been completed, including extensive sewer improvements to basins 1 and 6, which the board approved with the understanding that sewer rates eventually would have to be increased.

So far projects totaling about $6.8 million have been completed - about 22 percent of the approximately $32 million worth of projects outlined in the village's Comprehensive Facility Plan, Trustee Michael Maher said.

"It's a long-term investment in the infrastructure of our community," Maher said. "I wish we didn't have to do it … but as a community we're committed to making these improvements so that, long term, the values of our properties are retained."

The rate change amounts to an annual increase of about $113, based on average use, Maher said. Effective with consumption beginning mid month, the new rates will first be reflected on bills mailed to residents in June and/or July.

Without a rate increase, the utility likely would face a cash deficit by the end of the year, according to a memo from Finance Director Stephanie Walker. A 33 percent increase this year will ensure the sewer utility meets minimum revenue requirements by the end of 2013, and cash minimum requirements by the end of 2014, Walker's memo states.

The option, one of three originally reviewed by the Finance Committee and Village Board, also calls for another review of sewer rates in early 2015. Another increase may be needed at that time, depending on whether the village chooses to borrow additional funds for future projects.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said a letter will be mailed to notify residents of the rate increase, along with an article to be published in the village magazine.

AT A GLANCE

According to a memo from the finance director, Shorewood sewer rates will change as follows with the 33 percent increase approved by the Village Board:

USAGEFROMTO
Quarterly flat charge$22.13$29.43
Consumption charge per 1 CCF* (100 cubic feet)$2.77$3.68
Flat rate for unmetered per quarter(Based on usage of 30 CCF per quarter)$105.23$139.83

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