Rising costs, maintenance is behind the increase, officials say

By Dave Fidlin


Water and sewer utility rates within the Village of Waterford are set to increase.

The Village Board on June 24 voted to increase water rates 34 percent and increase sewer rates 15 percent. The moves come after consultation and review within and beyond the walls of village hall.

“Village staff worked with Johnson Block to file an application for a water rate increase with the PSC (Public Service Commission),” Colleen Schauer, public information officer and utilities clerk, wrote in a memo.

As a statewide entity, the PSC is tasked with approving water rate cases, though municipalities have the ability to make adjustments to sewer rates on their own. Schauer in her memo noted the PSC had recommended the 34-percent increase for water service.

The village’s official public notice on the increases points to the rationale behind the water rate hike at this time.

“The increase is necessary due to a 42.65 percent increase in gross plant investment and 24.68 percent increase in operating expenses since the last water rate case was completed in 2008,” the notice states.

The water utility’s revenue increase totals $244,545. According to village officials, the average residential customer’s quarterly bill will increase from $48.36 to $63.90. The figure is based on 11,000 gallons of water consumption and specific technical dimensions.

The sewer rate increase for the average utility user calls for a quarterly increase from $87.72 to $100.92, again based on the 11,000 gallons of consumption threshold.

Several subgroups within the village – including members of the Finance and Public Works and Utilities committees – reviewed the rate proposal before forwarding the matter on to the full Village Board.