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Marshfield preparing for wastewater rate increase

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Marshfield preparing for wastewater rate increase

MARSHFIELD, WIS (WSAU) - Marshfield’s Board of Public Works has given their approval for a wastewater utility rate hike of 3.2% per year, or about $1.25 per month, for the typical residential user beginning in 2013.

Phil Severson is a consultant with Strand Associates. He said the need for a rate increase is due to two factors. The first is an increase in the utility’s revenue requirement, coupled with a decrease in water sales to commercial and residential consumers. Board member Tom Buttke says there really aren’t other options if the infrastructure is to be maintained. According to Buttke, “This is a slight increase, and I think it’s justified.” City officials say the rate hike compares favorably to the national average, which is 5%.

Operating costs have risen due to prices increases for chloride, polymers, concrete for maintenance projects, and wage increases for unionized labor.

Robert Workinger was the only board member opposing the measure. The new rate would go into effect January 1st, 2013 if approved by the full City Council.