St. Armand town board lowers sewer rates

BLOOMINGDALE — The St. Armand Town Council voted last week to lower the sewer usage rate and add a new fee that, in total, should lower how much town residents pay for their sewer usage.

“Last night I put forth a proposal to the town board to reduce our sewer usage rates to $12.36 per thousand gallons through the end of 2019,” said town Supervisor Davina Winemiller.

The previous rate had been $18.75 per 1,000 gallons per household. An added flat rate of $11.12 per user would be added to the billing residents receive. In an example Winemiller, a household that uses 10,000 gallons per quarter with the previous rates would spend $326, whereas with the new rates they would spend $273.22. That’s $52.78 in savings. According to Winemiller, the estimated quarterly savings can be as much as $116.68.

Winemiller said there needs to be a charge for the sewer system, as it and its repairs are funded by the residents.

“Our sewer system is 100% user funded. It’s providing a service,” Winemiller said.

Some of the funds will also be used to save up money for matching grant funds that will be used to repair the sewer systems. Every household will be charged a flat rate of $11.12 that will go into a fund for the matching-fund grants.

No grants have yet been received yet, which Winemiller said has been a point of contention between her and the town board recently, but she said she will meet with state and county officials later this month at the town hall to discuss possible grants to work on the town’s ageing sewer system.

For the proposed sewer repairs, the cost to the town is estimated to be $87,500. Winemiller estimates that with current sewer rates, the town will have the funds to pay for the project when it has collected all of the sewer billing for 2022.