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33 Percent Hike in Sewer Bill Needed to Pay for Upgrades, Village Officials Say

The Village Board approved the increase Monday night, $28 more per quarter and $113 annually, to pay debt for sewer improvements.

To pay on debt related to sewer improvements in Shorewood, sewer bills will swell 33 percent, village officials say. 

Approved Monday night by the Village Board, the increase is effective Feb. 15 and will first be reflected on sewer bills sent out in June and July. The increase is needed to pay debt related to upgrades already completed and part of the village's $32.4 million comprehensive approach to rehabbing its outdated sewers, after the system couldn't handle torrential rains in July 2010. 

Based upon average use, the increase translates into a $28 quarterly increase, $113 annually, on the bill this year. 

Sewer tax bills are dispersed on a quarterly basis and are separate from the property tax bill calculated at the end of the year.

It's anticipated rates will need to be reviewed in 2015 to determine if another increase will be needed to fund other sewer repairs. 

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. 

The Village Board was presented three options to pay for the debt, and chose the increase after a recommendation from village staff. 

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