September 23, 2019 – West Bend, WI – This story was originally posted a week ago, giving neighbors in West Bend a heads up that a sewer and water rate increase is being considered. The meeting is tonight, Monday, Sept. 23, at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. It is open to the public.
Click HERE to review the agenda.
There will be a meeting of the West Bend Board of Public Works on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 6:25 p.m. and discussion will center around a 2-year audit. City leaders say the findings from that audit may lead to a proposed 3-to-9 percent increase in city water and sewer service.
According to City Administrator Jay Shambeau “water is a proposed 3-percent increase and sewer service is possibly a 9-percent increase.”
Records show the City of West Bend has not had an increase in the water rate since 2011. The sewer rate has not increased in the City of West Bend since 2006.
Shambeau said the City isn’t looking at an increase “just because it hasn’t been done in a while.”
“The reason to raise the utility fees is to keep up with the infrastructure that’s needed,” he said. “We have an aging facility and we have a lot of water and sewer lines under our city streets that need to be upgraded. The audit looks at all of those scheduled capital improvement projects and then we, as staff and the mayor, have been reviewing those projects and the impact of the cost.”
The Public Works Department will make the original audit presentation and then the council will react and possibly ask for more information.
Shambeau said there are a number of steps to take before the council votes on a proposal. He said the earliest increase may possibly be by January 2020.
“We’re been working on this diligently for a while,” said Shambeau.
West Bend Utility Director Ruth Mueller said she would prefer to comment on the proposed increase closer to the meeting, after more data becomes available.
Below are some details from the City of West Bend water utility long range capital planning budget from 2019.
Click HERE to look at the complete 2019 operating budget.
The Board of Public Works meeting is held in the council chambers at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.
On a side note: The City of West Bend water and sewer discussion has nothing to do with the recent Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Maintenance Program (POWTS) issue discussed by the Washington County Board.
Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann has asked that the proposed $11 POWTS fee be turned down. The full County Board will vote on the issue at its October 9 meeting. The POWTS issue was supposed to be discussed at the full county board meeting on Sept. 11, however it was removed from the agenda.