Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bellevue sewer rates rise less than expected

City raises water rates, too


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Monthly sewer rates will rise in October less than expected in Bellevue due to a savings on operations costs at the city's new wastewater treatment facility, and a better rate of collections on past-due sewer bills.

The City Council voted on Thursday, July 26, to increase sewer rates 4 percent on Oct. 1, from $67.20 to $69.88 per month.

The rate was expected last year to rise 4.99 percent, the maximum allowed by state law, but was dropped after a presentation by Brandon Keller of Keller and Associates Engineers, which showed that the city's sewer fund would not be depleted by establishing the lower rate.

Public Works Director Dan Black said he created an unexpected decrease of $50,000 per year in operations and maintenance costs at the city's sewer plant by replacing electrical and mechanical equipment and adding chemicals that will decrease the amount of sludge hauling at the facility.

Sewer rates in Bellevue are scheduled to rise 3.9 percent per year, reaching $103 per month in 2022.

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Mayor Chris Koch said he was pleased with the new, lower rate, saying it could have been much higher if the cost savings had not been discovered, and the collections increased.

'At one time we were looking at a possible 5 or 6 percent increase," Koch said.

In other Bellevue news:

( At the same meeting, the council voted to increase water rates from $25.20 to $26.21 per month, a 4 percent increase.

( The City Council waived a park fee for a fundraiser benefit event on Sept. 27 at Memorial Park for Jake Jefferson.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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