Beaver Dam Utility Customers Relieved from $600 Increase in Water Rates

(Beaver Dam) Utility customers in Beaver Dam have been spared a $600 annual increase in water rates as the city has been awarded $20 million in stimulus money. Governor Jim Doyle announced the funding yesterday at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Half of the $20 million is an outright grant while the other half is a low-interest, tax-free loan. Beaver Dam plans to expand their outdated wastewater treatment plant and incorporate green technology into the upgrade. The plan will allow the city to pre-treat waste from Kraft Foods and convert it to biogas which will be used to generate electricity, saving the city about a quarter million dollars a year in electricity costs. In addition, Alliant Energy will buy surplus electricity from the city, estimated at another quarter million dollars annually. Beaver Dam got one-fifth of the $106 million allotted the state in recovery funds for wastewater construction projects, which Doyle says is intended to create jobs and stimulate local economies. This new green approach will allow the city to keep utility bills below $40. A 2007 facilities plan to upgrade the sewer treatment plant would have increased sewer bills from the current $37 a month to nearly $50. The project should be complete by the end of next year.