Hearing set March 2 on proposed Hobart sewer rate hike
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – The village board has scheduled a public hearing March 2 to implement the 2021 sewer volume rate.
Board members discussed last month where to set the rate, based on whether to use cash reserves to offset the amount of an increase charged per 1,000 gallons.
They agreed on a 9 percent increase, which translates into an additional 64 cents per 1,000 gallons, for a sewer rate of $7.77 per 1,000 gallons.
If approved, the new rates will take effect with the first quarter billing March 31, said Clerk-Treasurer Erica Berger.
Included in this year’s sewer budget is $160,000 for capital projects.
It will involve relining the Indian Trails sewer system to avoid a more expensive total replacement of the line, which Public Works Director Jerry Lancelle said could fail in the near future.
Under the proposed increase, Berger said the capital projects would be paid with $42,000 from sewer revenue and $118,000 from cash reserves.
With no cash reserves used for capital projects, Village Administrator Aaron Kramer informed the board that would result in a rate hike of $1.52 per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 21 percent.
Kramer said an option to pay the entire capital projects amount with cash reserves would raise sewer rates by 33 cents per 1,000 gallons, an increase of 5 percent.
By paying half of the capital projects with cash reserves, he said that would increase the rate by 92 cents per 1,000 gallons, a 13 percent hike.
Board members favored keeping the increase below double digits and backed the 9 percent hike.
Sewer volume rate
As stated on the public hearing notice, the sewer volume rate is being affected by the amount the village is budgeted to pay NEW Water in sewer charges, which are increasing this year by 10.1 percent ($61,992) to $675,292.
The notice also states $85,683 more is required this year to cover NEW Water costs, operating costs, debt service, budget increases and capital projects.
Based on an average of 12,000 gallons per quarter, a resident would pay $7.68 more per quarter, an additional $30.72 per year, for sewer service with a rate of $7.77 per 1,000 gallons.
Based on 48,000 gallons per year, the proposed sewer volume rate would increase yearly sewer charges from the current $342.24 to $372.96.