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Sturtevant residents will likely see an $8 quarterly increase in their sewer bill effective as of the Oct. 1 billing.
Board members Tuesday discussed the rate increase, the first in two years, but unavoidable, Administrator Mary Cole told the board, because of increased billing from both Mount Pleasant – through which Sturtevant sewer lines run – and the City of Racine, where all customers east of I-94 have their water treated.
“It’s scary because revenues are down and expenses are up, but you need to do something,” she said. “We’re looking at 8 percent increases from the city and Mount Pleasant is close to that. We haven’t raised rates in two years, and I know it’s not easy but it’s also not avoidable.”
The last increase was $5 in 2012, bringing the rate for residential customers to $130 per quarter. Under the proposal under consideration, that rate would rise $8, to $138 per quarter.
Board member Chris Wright chairs the Storm Water and Wastewater Committee, and he said the $44,000 combined increase from Mount Pleasant and Racine have tied Sturtevant’s hands.
“We have to then pass on those increases to customers. We have waited as long as we could to increase rates and we have now reached a point that we can no longer wait,” he said.
But what also contributes to rising rates, Wright added, is a decision from about 20 years ago by a previous board to not help pay for an interceptor on the north side of the village. Doing so would have meant part ownership of the equipment and put more control over flow in Sturtevant’s hands.
“Unfortunately because of a decision by Sturtevant’s board decades ago not to fund an interceptor on the north side and Racine having a monopoly on sewer treatment we have no control over those charges,” he explained.
Commercial/industrial customers will also see an increase; from $5,680 per million gallons to $5,900 per million gallons.
The Sturtevant Village Board will give a first reading of the ordinance authorizing the increase at their 6 p.m. Aug. 19 meeting at Village Hall, 2801 89th Street.