City discusses sewer rate increases
By Chad Knudson
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
The City of Glendive is rapidly approaching the moment when escalating costs at the new water reclamation and recovery facility will impact sewer rates.
During the Finance, Utility, Property and Recreation committee meeting held Wednesday, Director of Finance Kevin Dorwart asked the council to set a public hearing on a proposed rate increase in July.
The rate increase is proposed to be implemented over the next three years, with the first phase taking effect this August.
As proposed, the first year will see a $7 increase in the base sewage rate as well as a 7 percent increase on both usage and base. Year two will have a $6.50 increase in base and a 7 percent increase on usage and base. Year three will have a $6.25 increase in base and a 7 percent increase on usage and base.
“We crunched a bunch of numbers,” alderman Kevin Peña said. “There are a lot of ways to get there.”
Alderman Rhett Coon added that regardless of what configuration the council decided to use, the end result needed to be about a $28 increase.
“This has to encompass anything else we have in the sewer program over the next four years, not just the treatment facility,” he said.
Dorwart also pointed out the increased rates are timed to correspond with the bills which will start coming due when the construction company mobilizes to begin building the new treatment facility later this summer.
Coon and Peña were joined by committee chairman Mike Dryden in unanimously recommending the rate increase and the July 15 hearing date to the full council for consideration at their June 17 meeting.
“It’s the step we knew we had to take,” Dryden said, “So we’ll have a public hearing and see what the public has to say.”
Reach Chad Knudson at email@example.com.