(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved a 35-percent sewer rate increase. The change will cost residential sewer utility customers – on average – $81 more per year. There are two factors driving the increase. Projections of revenues from large industrial customers made four years ago were too low, leading to a budgetary shortfall. Also, video camera’s run through storm sewers found the infrastructure to be in worse shape than once thought.
A rate study to address the funding shortfall determined that an additional $997-thousand dollars in annual revenue is needed, which is a 35-percent overall increase.
The sewer increase was approved with two dissenting votes. Alderman Ken Anderson noted that costs for large industrial customers were not increasing as sharply as for that of residential customers.
Director of Utilities Rob Minnema defended the increase saying that it is fair an equitable over the long term and Beaver Dam still has among the lowest utility rates in the state.
Last year, a rate hike hit residential water customers to the tune of around $12-per quarter on average. The last sewer rate increase in Beaver Dam took effect in January of 2015. Rate payers saw a 39-percent increase at that time, which translated to around $9-per quarter or $36-per year more on average.
Listen to Minnema discuss the sewer rate increase with the common council on January 7, 2019 (note: audio quality may vary)