By Billy Stitz
The Flandreau City Council decided at their last meeting that they would increase the sewer rates by a total of four dollars starting as soon as allowable. Residents will notice the change on their May bill.
After hearing a presentation from the city’s engineer about the water and sewer projects, they discovered that the rates the city was charging for sewer was far below the state minimum if the city were to ever apply for grants or loans through the State for future projects.
The State requires the city to collect at least a $22.00 payment per 5,000 gallons. As it sits now, with a three quarter inch pipe (which is a majority of the town), the city charges $5.00 base payment and a $2.20 per 1,000 gallons. Which means at 5,000 gallons, the city is only collecting $16.00.
Because the Council did not want to hit the city with the entire margin at once, they will be raising the payment by four dollars per 5,000 gallons now and coming back to the issue within the next year.
Now, the city’s sewer rates will be $7.50 base pay with a $2.50 charge per 1,000 gallons, upping the 5,000-gallon collection to $20.00.
The water rates are also a topic of interest. With several water and sewer projects on the horizon, the Council wants to insure that funding is available. The State requires the city to collect $25.00 per 5,000 gallons and right now, Flandreau is collecting $25.50, just fifty cents over the minimum. The council may look into an increase in those rates as well in the near future.