Wayland council approves increased rates for sewer

The Wayland City Council Monday night formally adopted a resolution to raise city sewer rates to make up for a dozen years lapse in fee increases

City Manager Josh Eggleston acknowledged the makeup plan to correct the rates is aggressive, but added, “These rates have to be reflective of the true cost of the facilities.”

The City Council held a first reading of the ordinance last month after a public hearing in which no representatives of the public were present.

There are two kinds of sewer rates — the block rate, which currently is $12.42 per month, and a commodity, or use, rate of $3.57 per thousand gallons for small households.

The new rates:

• For households with 2,000 gallons, for one or two occupants, $19 per month and $5 per 1,000 gallons of use.

• For 4,500 gallons, an average family household, from $28.04 to $41.50 per month.

• For larges households with 7,000 gallons, current rate of $37.40 per month to $54.

• For large, mostly commercial and industrial, two-inch meters for 50,000 gallons, current rate of $240.60, bumped to $351.27 per month.

Eggleston told council members he believes the increases are affordable to most customers.

After the first three years of the rate increases plan, the proposal is for a 3% annual increase to attempt to account for inflation.

Eggleston acknowledged, “It is a sizable increase over the next four years… Even with doing this, we will have only limited ability to get (state and federal) loans and grants.”

Councilman Joe Kramer moved to have the new rates adopted, saying, “I know this is not going to be popular… I don’t know why we stopped (increasing rates after 2010). We just can’t sit and wait.”

In other business at Monday night’s meeting the council:

• Heard from citizen Thomas Avery, who warned that there could be potential traffic safety problems on Wildcat Drive for children who walk to school. He said the lack of lights and inappropriate location of a sign could cause problems and suggested the sign be placed instead on Apollo Drive.

• Learned from Eggleston that work has just begun on the new 2022-23 fiscal year budget. The city manager said he hopes state revenue sharing will be increased, but maintained the old funding will not be restored after the big cutback in 2012.

• Adopted a resolution approving a youth sports raffle for the local baseball and softball programs.

• Heard acknowledgment of flooding problems after heavy rains last month on Willow Drive. Eggleston said the developer has apologized to residents and installed a silt fence. He added that if the problems are not handled properly, the work could be stopped and permits pulled.

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