Wastewater rates to go up in Osgood

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

The preliminary engineering report for the Osgood wastewater plant was presented by David Mohler, Commonwealth Engineers, at the October town council meeting for Osgood. According to Mohler, the project will increase capacity at the wastewater plant as well as address other issues such as hydraulics, pumps, blowers and problems that occur after a heavy rain.

It was noted that the town’s wastewater department is currently out of compliance with the NPDES permit, which will result in fines of $25,000 per day per violation. The estimated $3.6 million project may be partially funded by grants through Rural Development and Community Focus Fund. If the grants are approved, the Town of Osgood can expect to pay approximately $1 million via a loan from Rural Development.

According to Doug Baldisari, Umbaugh Associates, the current rate interest for a Rural Development loan is about 2.625% for 40 years. A wastewater rate increase of 43% was proposed in order to raise funds to pay this loan.

Baldisari noted that there has not been a rate increase since 1999. The proposed rate increase would result in the minimum wastewater bill going from about $24 to about $35 for 2500 gallons.

Council president Linda Krinop explained that state law requires the town to have funding set aside each month for operation and maintenance as well as for debt service. She presented Ordinance 2009-10 which will increase the sewer rates and provide funds for operation and maintenance.

The proposed rates are: the first 15,000 gallons at $13.98/1,000 gallons; next 15,000 at $12.77/1,000; next 15,000 at $11.66 per 1000 gallons; next 55,000 gallons at $10.50/1,000 gallons; and over 100,000 gallons at a rate of $7.64/1,000 gallons.

The minimum rate will be $34.95 for 2500 gallons. Tap fees will be $800 or the actual cost of material and labor, whichever is greater. The motion to accept ordinance 2009-10 was unanimously approved with notice of the rate changes to be printed in the newspaper. A public hearing regarding this issue will be held at the November meeting.

The motion to adopt ordinance 2010-11, a non-interest bearing loan for $79,385 from the Regional Revenue Sharing fund to the Wastewater Utility Bond and Interest fund was approved. This will allow the town to make the November bond payment as part of the wastewater project.

In other business, Andy Scholle presented a petition to the town requesting the town vacate the alley between the BP Station and the house south of it on North Buckeye Street.

All board members were in attendance along with town attorney Mary Ann Gay to advise. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 17 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Osgood Town Hall.