With $0 flowing into the sewer utility fund and a recommendation from the village’s auditor to keep ahead of infrastructure costs, the Dresser Village Board is working to establish incremental increases to the sewer and water utility rates.
For sewer, the proposed increase is 3% on the fixed wastewater service charge, and an added $1 per 1,000 gallons of water used (2,500 gallon minimum).
“It’s urgent that we bite the bullet,” Trustee Grace Bjorklund said of the proposed increases.
The figures will not be final until a resolution is written and approved.
As for when the increase would go into effect, the board discussed late 2019 but did not set a specific date. Once established, the increase will occur annually for three years.
The village will also apply to the state Public Service Commission to do a simplified water rate increase. The rate of any increase won’t be known until the application is reviewed, but staff estimated it might be about 3%.
The water utility fund is showing a better balance than the sewer, but the village is looking at infrastructure costs in the immediate future.
“The water tower project,” said Village President Bryan “Fatboy” Raddatz, “not helping.”
“And the street project,” Bjorklund said, referring to a $10,000 project lining pipes under Warren Street.
She continued, “I visited with Brock [Geyen, auditor] on the phone and he fully agreed that we have to do something to generate revenue. There’s just no other way to do it than raising rates. Nobody likes to do it.”
“If we get ahead of it, it’s not so brutal,” said Raddatz.
• The September meeting date was changed from September 2 to September 9, to avoid conflict with Labor Day.
• Clerk Jodi Gilbert and Village President Raddatz were appointed as representatives to the Polk County Housing Studies Project, a study being done in partnership with the Polk County Economic Development Corporation.
• The board approved payment for the new 2019 Mack plow truck.
• Andrie Electric will install lighting and sign receptacles at the two Welcome to Dresser signs. Most or all of the cost, $3,780, will be covered by donations.
• Scott Construction will chip seal State Street for an estimated $708.
• An annual staff report for the sewer utility was approved and will be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources.
• The League of Wisconsin Municipalities issued Dresser a $1,393 insurance dividend for 2018.