Council approves sewer rate hike
Increases to take effect in September
By Scott Bellile
Sewer user charge rates will increase in the city of New London.
The new sewer rates are as follows:
• Base monthly fixed charge for all users: $2.30, up from 80 cents.
• Volume charge for metered users: $7.19 per 1,000 gallons, up from $5.84.
• Volume charge for unmetered users: $26.15 per month, up from $21.24.
Public Works Director Jeff Boodh told the Press Star the rate increases are expected to take effect in September.
“The sewer increases are needed to keep up the operation, maintenance and future upgrades to the city’s sanitary sewer system and the wastewater treatment plant,” Bodoh said.
“The average resident uses about three units (3,000 gallons) of water a month,” Bodoh said. “Under the current rate, the average resident’s bill would be $18.32. Under the proposed rate increase, their bill will be $23.87, an increase of $5.55 per month.”
The New London City Council approved amending city ordinance 13.12 to reflect the increases on June 14. The council voted in favor of it 7-1 with Second District Alderwoman Mary Tate voting against. Fourth District Aldermen Ron Steinhorst and Rob Way were absent.
City council held a public hearing regarding the rate increase prior to the vote. No members of the public spoke.
The board of public works had recommended the rate increase by a 4-1 vote on June 6, with Third District Alderwoman Lori Dean voting against.
“Not that there’s anything we can do about it, but I don’t like it,” Dean said.
“You can get yourself an outhouse if you want to,” Fourth District Alderman Ron Steinhorst joked.
At the council meeting June 14, Second District Alderman Tom O’Connell said he wants the city to ensure the public is aware.
“I want to be sure we let our businesses know right away that we’re doing this,” O’Connell said. “A month from now or a year from now or whenever it happens, make sure they know.”
This rate increase is the first phase of a two-phase increase. Bodoh said the second phase may be introduced in 2017.
The city’s last sewer rate increase was in 2012.