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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 21:09

Water & Sewer Rate Increase

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CITY OF MARSHFIELD WATER & SANITARY SEWER RATE INCREASE

Water System Improvements:

The City of Marshfield operates three state approved wells and three water towers.  Over the past few years the City of Marshfield has undertaken a study of the City’s water system.  This study has resulted in creation of a Water System Facility Plan, which has identified several improvements that are needed to continue to provide safe drinking water for the residents, businesses and visitors.  As a result, beginning in 2017 a number of improvements to the City’s water system will be made.  These improvements will include:

  • Replacement of Existing Warren Street Well House: Replacement of the existing well house and the addition of disinfection equipment as well as installation of updated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring/ control equipment that controls and monitors the City’s water system.
  • Improvements to the Existing McVay Street Well house: Installation of disinfection equipment and SCADA monitoring/control at the McVay Street well house with the addition of equipment to the existing well house.
  • Improvements to the Existing Well House at Highway 38 & Truman Road:  Adding a disinfection room to the existing well house with installation of disinfection equipment, and installation of new SCADA monitoring/control equipment.
  • Rehabilitation of Existing Warren Street Water Tower: Improvements to the tower which will include replacement of interior and exterior coatings and piping/valve modifications.  The modifications will also allow for increased chlorine contact time with the water in the tower which will help improve water quality within the system.
  • Rehabilitation of Existing Blue Jay Water Tower: Improvements to the tower which will include replacement of the interior coating, power washing of the exterior, and piping/valve modifications. The modifications will also allow for increased chlorine contact time with the water in the tower which will help improve water quality within the system.
  • Pine Street Water Tower: Decommissioning and demolition of the existing water tower at Jackson Street and Pine Street.
  • New Water Tower:  Construction of a new 300,000-gallon elevated water tower adjacent to the existing McVay Street well.
  • New Highway 38 Water Tower: Construction of a new 500,000-gallon elevated tank adjacent to the existing water well at Highway 38 and Truman Road.

*  The water system improvements are being financed through a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  The SRF Loan allows the City to obtain a lower interest rate than a conventional loan would otherwise provide. 

*  In order to obtain a SRF Loan through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), a review of the City’s water rates is required. The rate study has been performed in relation to the operational and maintenance costs associated with the City’s water system.  The MDNR SRF Loan requires that all operational and maintenance costs of the City’s water system be paid for by the users of the water system and are not otherwise subsidized by other City funds.   The water rate calculation is designed to determine the user charges according to actual use.  It includes a method to accurately account for debt service, operation and maintenance, replacement and revenues generated by the system. 

Rate Increase:  

*  A review of the City’s water rates has resulted in an increase in the City’s water rates.  The City’s water rates include a “minimum charge”, which will increase from $9.83 per month to $16.67 per month and a “volume rate”, which will increase from $2.33 per 1,000 gallons of water to $2.54 per 1,000 gallons of water.   For customers located outside of the city limits the minimum rate and volume rate is doubled. 

*  Like the City’s water rate, the City’s waste water rate is also divided into two parts – a flat charge that covers the costs of billing, collection, administration and debt service; plus, a user charge that is based upon the volume of water used by each customer per month that is discharged into the City’s waste water system for treatment.  Due to increased operational costs related to the rising costs of laboratory supplies and plant chemicals, as well as needed improvements to the City’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring/ control equipment that controls and monitors the City’s waste water system, the flat charge will increase from the current $4.58 per month to $5.00 per month and the user charge increase from $3.68 per 1,000 gallons of water to $4.00 per 1,000 gallons of water.  For customers located outside of the city limits the minimum rate and volume rate is doubled. 

 *  The City’s water and sewer rates will also include a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) fee of five percent.  Upon collection, the PILOT fee is transferred from the Water & Sewer Funds to the City’s General Fund to pay for costs incurred for other services provided by the City through the General Fund such as police, fire, streets, and other services.   Private utilities, such as electric, gas, telephone, etc., pay for these city services through payment of a franchise fee, which in Marshfield is typically five percent. Since the water/sewer systems are provided by the City, the utility does not pay a franchise fee.  As such, the PILOT fee equates to this franchise fee.

 *  Customer water bills will also continue to include a portion of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) charge of $14.00.  The $5.00 water CIP fee funds the City’s water system and the $9.00 sewer CIP funds the City’s waste water system capital improvement projects.