Another study of Village of Windsor sewer rates is coming.
At its meeting Thursday, Jan. 16, the village board unanimously approved a resolution calling for a new study after one was done last year.
Estimated to cost $5,500 to $6,500, a new study was deemed necessary after the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) substantially increased its rates, according to Village Administrator Tina Butteris.
Butteris said the MMSD is looking to make improvements to its system.
“A lot of their infrastructure is old,” said Butteris.
Windsor Village President Bob Wipperfurth added, “When it was built years ago, it was done with federal grants, but that money has dried up.”
So, instead of going out for grant money to fix any issues, MMSD is looking to fund improvements by increasing fees.
Johnson Block CPAs will conduct the study. Butteris said the study will determine the rate from a holistic approach, taking into account the village’s full sewer budgetary needs.
“Last year, a study was done on rates and we were doing okay,” said Butteris.
News of MMSD rate increases at the end of 2019 forced village officials to recommend undertaking a new study of sewer rates.
Trustee Brad Mueller asked about informing the public on reasons for sewer rate changes. Butteris said there will be an education campaign.
“I would think most people in Windsor don’t understand their sewer is treated in Madison,” said Mueller.
According to information from the village’s engineer, the cost increase per 1,000 gallons for normal sewage will be approximately 27 cents over the current “basic rate” of $3.52/1,000 gallons. That figure is based on the increase in MMSD rates. That 27-cent hike would only pay for the increase in MMSD fees for sewage and MMSD meter charges and does not include increases in utility wages, maintenance or repairs, among other things.
There’s another reason for a new study besides MMSD fee increases. The Town of Vienna is also increasing its charges for fixed costs by $1,602 a year for servicing Morrisonville.
An increase of approximately 10 percent or 35 cents per 1,000 gallons would raise the basic rate of sewage to $3.87/1,000 gallons. A minimum increase of 29 cents per 1,000 gallons would push the basic rate to $3.81 per 1,000 gallons.
Johnson Block CPAs is expected to provide estimates on the following topics: village sewer operating expenses for 2019 and 2020; sewer capital expenditures and borrowings for 2019 and 2020; sewer revenues at current rates; additional revenues required if necessary; and proposed new rates based on estimates of projected expenses.
Housing Authority expansion
DeForest Housing Authority Director Ed Wall sent an email to the Village of Windsor stating that the organization is going to pursue other opportunities in DeForest for its public housing needs.
Wall had gone before the Windsor Village Board twice to see if something could be worked out regarding plans to expand the housing authority’s current facility near the Community and Senior Center. The proposal would have encroached on property owned by the Village of Windsor.
Windsor officials were concerned about liability issues, as the affected property sits on what was once a landfill. The Village of DeForest did not not want to assume liability for the land either, leaving the $8-9 million proposed project in limbo.
Wipperfurth made the announcement about the email and the housing authority’s decision at the Windsor Village Board meeting Thursday, Jan. 16.