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Expect to Pay More on Your Sewer Bill Soon

Shorewood officials say they need a sewer rate hike to pay debt for sewer improvements.

A sewer tax rate increase is on the horizon for Shorewood residents as the village works to pay for debt from sewer repairs. 

The Village Board discussed three possible options Tuesday night to pay for debt related to sewer improvements conducted in the northwestern portion of the village, on North Downer Avenue and sewer maintenance. 

Without a rate increase, the village's sewer utility fund would face a cash deficit by the end of the year. If the village wants to borrow for future sewer projects, the sewer rate must bring in enough money to keep a cash balance of 33 percent of operating expenses and an operating income at 125 percent of the debt service for the previous year. 

Village staff presented three options:

  • A rate increase of 46 percent in 2013, translating into an averaged quarterly $39 increase, an annual increase of $157.
  • A rate increase of 33 percent in 2013 ($28 quarterly increase, $113 annually), followed by an increase of 9 percent in 2015 ($10 quarterly increase, $41 annually). 
  • A rate increase of 26 percent in 2013 (averaged $22 quarterly increase, $89 annually) and 12 percent increase in 2014 (averaged $12 quarterly increase and 51 annually). 

The first option, with one large increase would cover the cash balance as well as the operating income this year. The second option would cover the cash balance this year and bring the operating income by 2014. The final option would cover cash balance and operating income in 2014.

Within all of the options, a rate increase would be effective beginning Feb. 15, meaning the increase will show up on bills received in June. Sewer tax bills are dispersed on a quarterly basis and are separate from the property tax bill calculated at the end of the year.

Officials leaned toward the second option, but asked village staff to bring back a recommendation on Feb. 5, when the Village Board is expected to make a final decision.

Additional rate increases could be possible in 2016 if the village decides to move forward with other sewer projects. 

The work is part of a $32.4 million comprehensive approach to revamp Shorewood's outdated sewer system, which couldn't handle torrential rains in July 2010.

Students First January 27, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Get use to it Shorewood. The Village Board didn't do it's job over the years and kept "HOPE"ing the bill would never arrive because they didn't put enough money into reserves for capital expenditures. I guess the $100s of thousands of dollars the Village Board and Manager have spent over the years for 30 year plans, mission statements, and consulting reports couldn't prevent this. This is exactly what Shorewood deserves, because the voters and Village board are more concerned about adding excessive Village staff (just look at the number of employees in Code enforcement and inspections) higher Village salaries, pensions, and health benefits instead of doing what is prudent. They were more concerned with kicking good businesses out of the Village for wanting to place a sign on the sidewalk while at the same time the Village looks the other way as the High School has a 6'x6'x4 composting bin 25 feet from the sidewalk on Oakland Ave. (btw-the compost bin was moved there last spring after the overpaid custodial staff discovered its original location was the source of a foul smell in the Auditorium building, which they had spent Tens of $1,000s of dollars trying to find the source of the foul smell only to discover it was the compost bin they placed in front of the HVAC's fresh air intake) Get ready Shorewood because you haven't seen anything yet. Wait until the School Board tells you what they've been doing with their required reserves for capital expenses.
EmpthyCursed January 27, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Custodial staff is NOT over paid. The do a lot of work in each building. If you have seen the amount of trash, small "expressions of art", and other things that students could have prevented that. the custodial is responsible for you would understand why they are paid that way. Some proper home training of a select few students may make part of their jobs simpler in turn letting them actually do the work they were trained for. I would MUCH rather pay higher taxes to the school system. If you don't want to contribute to the future residents of shorewood and you don't have any children in the system, you need not complain, sell your house to a family that wants to be here at any cost. Maybe what we need to do is look at the companies we are hiring for these projects are THEY paid too much? How many times have we paid extra for projects because they exceed the expected time limit. I've seen workers standing around smoking, talking, watching the clock. Maybe we need to out source better. Why not hire shorewood residents on unemployment who may have the skills to get things done around here. These workers would take pride in the village that they live in. Just saying.
Students First February 12, 2013 at 06:47 AM
Yes, how about the money spent on trying to find the source of the foul smell in the auditorium building? It was caused by placing the compost bin next to the fresh air intake. Work is work empthy! Trash and "art" is job security for the custodians. You think they work hard? Ask how often they use the $10,000 floor machine to clean the Arena and North gym floors per year. WFB custodians joyfully clean their floors on an almost daily basis with their machine. Shorewood's custodians don't even clean the bleachers and a few of them have a NASTY disposition. They know who they are and it is sad.

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