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News : Trenton Board Of Public Works Approves Rate Increases
Posted by Randy on 2013/11/20 10:36:00 (234 reads) News by the same author

The Trenton Board of Public Works has approved increased water and waste water rates effective with bills received in February for January usage.

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For an average residential customer using 4,000 gallons of water, the monthly increases are $2.35 for water service, and $4.62 for sewer.

That makes the monthly bills nearly $26 for water and around $30.56 for sewer. Again, that's based on a residential customer using 4,000 gallons of water.

Those figures are from water rates going up 10% across the board. Sewer rates are going up to produce around 17.5% more revenue. However, the amount of sewer rate increase depends on how much water is used.

There also will be a new charge for water taps. They'll cost---in addition to material costs---$50 for a line of 1 inch or less, $100 for 2 or 4 inch lines, and $200 for a 6 inch line.

There are minimum water charges for 9 different sizes of line within the City of Trenton, and 7 sizes of line for water districts and others outside the city limits. There also are metered rates in 5 different categories of water used. A separate minimum charge applies for each meter serving an individual customer.

The minimum sewer charge for residential and commercial customers will be $22 a month inside the city limits and $26.40 outside the city limits. That's based on using less than 200 thousand cubic feet of water a month for 12 consecutive months. In addition to the minimum charge, there's a metered rate.

The minimum wastewater charge for industrial customers is $43,000 a month. There's also a metered rate and charges for pollutants in excess of a permit.

In addition to the sewer and water charges, there are annual Department of Natural Resources fees placed on TMU water and wastewater bills.

The engineering firm, Burns and McDonnel, has assisted Trenton in developing rates for water, wastewater, and electricity. It's recommending a series of rate increases for each utility during a 4 year period.

The Trenton Board of Public Works is not scheduled to consider the first electric rate increases until this coming spring.

The various increases are to deal with government regulations, make other improvements, and maintain reserve funds.

The Wastewater Department has future upgrades to make to meet government requirements involving the Wastewater Treatment Plant area. As part of that process,
The Board of Public Works and the Trenton City Council, in September, approved
Burns and McDonnell engineering company to oversee efforts to determine infiltration and inflow into the sewer collection system from both public and private systems. Burns and McDonell is being paid up to $156,000. Its subcontractor, Trekk Design Group is to monitor and analyze by rainfall and smoke testing. More extensive testing, including the use of cameras, was proposed to the Board of Public Works last night. Board of Public Works members expressed alarm about the cost of the proposed expanded study---up to $904,000.

With the aging system, some of it around 100 years old, Board member Mark Cole questioned whether it would be better to develop a 10 year plan and use the money to begin making upgrades.

TMU Director, Chad Davis, indicated several million dollars would be needed . He noted the study would determine what specifically needs to be done.

Eventually, the topic was tabled after there was no motion to accept a contract for the expanded study.

The Board of Public Works approved an engineering services agreement with Olsson Associates relating to a project to make diesel power electric generators meet EPA air quality standards. The cost of the engineering services agreement is $50,000. It still needs Trenton City Council consideration.

DA Davidson and Company is working on potential financing for upcoming wastewater system upgrades and the project to make the diesel-powered electrical generators meet
EPA air quality standards.

Representatives of DA Davidson Company, Burns and McDonnell, and Olsson Associates attended last night's Board of Public Works meeting.

The cost of damage TMU sustained from high winds on Sunday has not been finalized. The damage included 8 broken power poles. Board of Public Works Chairman, Robert Day said it's important TMU maintain a large reserve fund to deal with such weather related expenses. He also said concern continues to grow about the TMU Electric Department's financial picture. Expenses surpassed income by more than $405,000 for the first 6 months of the fiscal year. Once depreciation is included, the net loss for the first 6 months exceeds $597,000.

Although the construction project to reduce trihalomethane levels in Trenton's drinking water supply has not been completed yet, progress has been made in reducing
trihalomethanes. Preliminary results indicate the City met the standards in September. However, that's not yet been confirmed.

The Trenton Board of Public Works also held a closed session last night regarding legal matters.

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