City plans session to talk sewer billsSuperior property owners will see a change in their Superior Water, Light & Power bills starting next year.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Superior property owners will see a change in their Superior Water, Light & Power bills starting next year.
The utility company will no longer collect city sewer fees every month.
The city will take over collection of the municipal fee again starting with the first quarterly bill in April. The first bill will include charges for January, February and March sewage service. From there, property owners will receive a bill from the city every three months for sewer fees for the previous three months.
The change is being made as SWL&P upgrades its billing system. It will no longer be possible for the utility company to collect the city fees, according to Diane Nelson, stormwater coordinator with Superior’s Environmental Services Division.
It will require hiring someone to manage the billing and collection of fees, Finance Director Jean Vito told members of the city’s Finance Committee earlier this month. However, she doesn’t expect that to add to the cost of managing the collection of sewage fees. She said fees paid to SWL&P now should cover the cost of wages and benefits for the new city employee.
However, the new staff position won’t be sufficient to allow the city to bill on a monthly basis, Nelson said
Property owners who rent or lease property in the city are going to see the biggest change as a result of the transition.
Because of SWL&P’s consumer privacy requirements, the city will not be able to bill tenants for their sewage usage, according to a news release issued by Nelson. Property owners will be billed for the city service.
SWL&P can only provide usage data to the city by address. The company cannot provide its customers names.
The city would not be able to bill tenants even if property owners provided written authorization, Nelson said.
The city plans to provide owners of multiple properties with a single bill listing all the properties they own and breaking out costs on a monthly basis to help landlords with passing those costs onto tenants.
Commercial property owners can, with written authorization, have bills mailed to a local facility rather than a corporate office. The authorization is similar to one used for storm water bills.
To help people understand the transition, the city is planning to hold two public meetings in November in the large meeting room at the Superior Public Library.
Meetings are planned for 10-11 a.m. Nov. 14 and 6-7 p.m. Nov. 21.