Haulers pay more for wasteHauling wastewater to the Superior treatment plant is going to cost more when the city’s new sanitary sewer rates go into effect Jan. 1 The new rates are structured to bring the haulers in line with the rates paid by city sewer customers, said Assistant Finance Director Dan Zuchowski.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Hauling wastewater to the Superior treatment plant is going to cost more when the city’s new sanitary sewer rates go into effect Jan. 1
The new rates are structured to bring the haulers in line with the rates paid by city sewer customers, said Assistant Finance Director Dan Zuchowski.
“We looked at the same percentage the residential rate went up,” said Diane Nelson of the city’s Environmental Services Division.
On average, rates approved by the council in September will increase revenue at the Wastewater Treatment Plant 17.4 percent. However, a change in the rate structure will have lower-volume households paying a larger share of the increase. The flat rate collected by the city increases from $2 to $5.50 per month and the new user rates increases from $4.96 per unit to $5.82.
Haulers will see their rates increase from $31.38 per 1,000 gallons of more concentrated septic waste to $36.81 and $10.40 per 1,000 of holding tank waste to $12.20.
“We’re also considering an increase in the permit fees,” Nelson said. “The haulers are currently paying $5. It takes about an hour or two to process it. It just isn’t covering our expenses to generate barcodes for them and enter the stuff into our database.”
The proposed increase would raise permits to $75 with a $25 annual fee, and will help the city track the haulers better based on a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Nelson said.
Councilor Mick MacKenzie questioned how the new fee structure would affect homeowners in his district that have septic systems or holding tanks. MacKenzie was the only city councilor to vote against the sewer rate increase when it was approved in September.
Determining how that cost might bear out for homeowners that use a specific service would be difficult because of other costs that affect the haulers, Nelson said. She said it costs her about $120 to have her 2,000-gallon holding tank pumped, but when the waste is dropped off at the treatment plant, the city only bills the company $20.80 now.
Under the new rate structure, she said the hauler would pay $24.40.
“How they change their rate to me isn’t something we have control over,” Nelson said.