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New wastewater project will hamper Hobart budget fund

By Ben Rodgers
Staff Writer

HOBART – With the rise of population in Hobart comes the need for increased utilities, and that will put a strain on one part of the budget for the next few years.

The major project that will affect the sanitary sewer fund is an upgrade to the Dutchman Creek Interceptor, owned and operated by NEW Water, a brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District.

The pipe, located in Ashwaubenon, needs to be increased to handle the growth in population.

Although the pipe is located in and serves Ashwaubenon, it serves the village of Hobart as well.

“You pay a certain amount for the water to come in and you pay a little more for the water coming out, because it has to be treated,” said Aaron Kramer, Hobart village administrator.

The sanitary sewer fund is projected to run a deficit of about $100,000 for next year, not including the interceptor.

With this project the cost will need to be bonded when the cost is finalized. Then the bonds will need to be paid the following year.

“The sanitary sewer budget is going to be very delicate to handle in 2018 and 2019,” Kramer said.

The costs for the project aren’t finalized but could be between $600,000 and $1 million.

“At this point you build the budget without those numbers factored in because we can’t do a rate study with that much of a cone of unknown as far as what the final bill would be,” Kramer said.

The cost for the Ashwaubenon componet of the project is still be calculated.

NEW Water is a wholesale utility provider, meaning it supplies services to municipalities.

There are 18 total municipalities covered in 285 square miles. NEW Water operates 79 miles of gravitational interceptors and treats 35 million gallons of water every day.

“We’re wrapping up our technical evaluation and moving into the recommended project and how much the cost will impact,” said Nathan Qualls, NEW Water director of technical service. “The important aspect of the this is to provide the necessary capacity for our customers both now and in the future at the lowest cost.”

Hobart’s cost for the project will be based on construction and how much capacity of the pipe it needs.

“If there’s cost to the project that’s not picked up by the individual customers, in this case Hobart and Ashwaubenon, it becomes a NEW Water utility cost, where all of our municipalities support the cost of the project,” Qualls said.

Hobart’s water budget is also projected to operate at a $41,000 deficit, but Kramer said there will be a rate study in the future. After that rates will likely increase to cover the shortfall.

“I’m fairly confident that there will be an increase in the water rates in 2018,” he said. “What that is, I just don’t know at this point.”

The only other big project in the future for Hobart is the water tower on the north side of the village.

Kramer said the village is working to pay for that as a TID district, not out of the water fund.

“The water fund, the deficit is manageable, we’ll probably be able to address it with a rate increase. …,” Kramer said. “The sanitary sewer is running a deficit and there is this huge project out there looming in the future. It makes for this huge variable, we don’t know how it fits in the equation.”

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