Sewer Utility Rates
On February 2, 2015, the Village of Weston Board of Trustees adopted new rates for the sewer utility to be effective March 1, 2015. The rates are contained in the following table:
||NEW RATE (3/1/15)
||$2.75 per 1,000 gal.
||$3.00 per 1,000 gal.
||$75.00 per quarter
||$80.00 per quarter
|Summer Season cap
on Residential Sewer
|Maximized at 125%
of most recent
|No cap; Sewer
Volume equals Water
(1) Sewer charges do not apply to water metered separately for outdoor use only and/or which is not discharged to the sanitary sewer. For a single family home or business this requires a second meter serving an irrigation system or outdoor plumbing fixtures.
Base charges have been increased ±5% and volume charges have increased 9.1% ($0.25 per 1,000 gallons) as compared to previous rates.
A residential customer using 13,750 gallons per quarter (55,000 gallons per year) will realize an increase in their total bill from $64.81 per quarter to $69.75 per quarter ($4.94 per quarter or $19.76 annually) This is an increase of 7.64%.
The actual increase for all customers will vary between 7% and 9% dependent on meter size and consumption.
Weston has not changed its sewer rates since 2004. During the period between 2004 and 2013 the utility has been able to maintain a net annual operating income averaging ±$65,000 – simply put, expenses have been less than revenues. In 2014 a net operating income is again projected, but in a lesser amount (approx. $40,000).
Weston is one of 5 communities which are tributary to Rib Mountain Metropolitan Sewerage District who are partners in this regional arrangement as a more efficient and cost effective means of treating wastewater as compared to each community having separate treatment works. The other tributary, or member, communities are Rib Mountain Sanitary District, Village of Rothschild, Village of Kronenwetter, and City of Mosinee.
During the 2015 budget preparation process Weston Municipal Utilities was informed of the Rib Mountain Metropolitan Sewerage District (RMMSD) beginning work on a facilities planning study. A facilities planning study is an engineering study to evaluate the improvements and costs for a treatment plant to serve its customers for a planning period, in this case the next 20 years. RMMSD is beginning this study for 2 reasons:
- The treatment plant is handling wastewater at about 85% of its capacity and actually treated flow in excess of its capacity during the past year for a limited period of time.
- Regulatory permitting may require additional treatment capacity to remove phosphorous in the very near future.
In addition RMMSD has depleted its operating reserve funds to keep their charges down for the member communities. The combination of the costs for the engineering study and replenishing some operating reserves results in increased rates to all RMMSD customers. This does not mean that each member community is raising rates; that is something each one will determine on their own.
For 2015 the charges to Weston from RMMSD are estimated to be $85,000 higher than charges in 2014. The estimated increased annual revenue with the rate increase is approximately $100,000 as compared to the previous rates based on 2013 and 2014 flow volumes. The estimated annual operating income will be approximately $30,000 with the new rates as compared to a projected loss of $67,000 without the increase.
Since 2004, revenues for the sewer utility have averaged $1.9 M annually and expenses have averaged $1.835 M annually. Expenses from RMMSD treatment charges are projected at between $620,000 and $650,000 in 2015 as compared to $550,000 in 2014 (actual charges are dependent on the actual flow and waste strength). With RMMSD charges accounting for almost 1/3 of the utility’s expenses, the expected increase from RMMSD could not be accommodated without raising rates for the sewer utility.
- Rates for wastewater collection and treatment cannot be expected to remain unchanged over long periods of time as costs for labor, supplies, equipment, and energy continue to increase over time. It is inevitable that costs for such a basic service need to increase for annual operation and maintenance and for upgrading and replacement of facilities.
- Weston has not increased its rates since 2004 while the statewide average for communities of Weston’s size is to bump rates every 3.3 years.
- Between 1996 and 2013 sewer rates in Wisconsin have increased on average 3.3% annually for communities with population between 10,000 and 50,000. Averaged since 2004, this increase for Weston corresponds to between 0.7% and 0.8% per year.
- The 2015 rate increase will add approximately $5.00 per quarter or $20.00 annually to a single family home using 55,000 gallons per year (the statewide average consumption) bringing the charges to $267.00 per year. This is still under the average of $287.00 for Marathon County. The statewide average cost of sewer service for communities with population between 10,000 and 50,000 is over $300.00.
Please visit the Village website for information and answers to anticipated FAQ’s. You may also wish to contact the utility by e-mail or by telephone at 715-359-2876 during normal business hours.