City Council Approves NHU Proposal to Increase Sewer Rates
On January 19, 2011, the New Holstein City Council approved a recommendation from the New Holstein Utilities Commission to increase the sanitary sewer rates.
With the approval, the sanitary sewer volume rate will increase from $3.26/1,000 gallons to $5.50/1,000 gallons. There will be no change to the monthly fixed charge. A residential customer with average water use would have an increase of $7.69/month. A commercial customer with average use would see a $26.40/month increase. The rate increase is effective with the February, 2011 usage.
The primary reason for the request to increase sewer rates is due to a significant decline in water consumption within the communicty since 2005. Sanitary sewer bills are based on the number of gallons of water sold, therefore the request to raise sewer rates in order to assist in recovering costs to operate the wastewater system. From 2005 through 2009, residential consumption has dropped 12.6%, while the industrial use dropped 97.5%. Public authority (i.e. government buildings, schools, wastewater plant) consumed 40.6% less water in the past 5 years. The only sector to see an increase in water consumption was the commercial customers, who raised use by 10.1%.
The changes in the volume of water consumed had nothing to do with a large change in the number of customers. The number of customers in the city remained stable. However, one customer who did leave the system, Tecumsh Power Company, had a major impact on the volume of water used. After Tecumseh Power Company closed their plant, approximately 90,000,000 gallons of water used annually was lost.
Despite the request for the increase in the sanitary sewer rates, the City of New Holstein will be near the average for sanitary sewer charges for communities with a population base between 2001-5000 people in Wisconsin. This information is per the 2010 Wisconsin Sewer User Charge Survey Reoprt released in April of 2010. Ninety-three (93) communities in New Holstein's popluation base participated in the survey. Based on the current rate, New Holstein has the 11th lowest sewer rates in the population grouping. With the increase, New Holstein will rank 51st out of the 93 survey participants.
If you have any questions regarding any of this information please contact the NHU office.