Water and sewer rates in Saline will see a change next month

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Photo by Bob van Aubel on Unsplash

Water and sewer rates for city of Saline residents are expected to go up next month.

This comes after a 5-2 vote of the Saline City Council at its May 2 meeting.

In follow up with Saline City Manager Colleen O’Toole, The Sun Times News asked if rates were going up.

O’Toole said, “Yes, water and sewer rates are increasing starting June 1st.”

She said these increases “are largely in response to costs associated with rehabilitating the Wastewater Treatment Plant.”

Here is a graphic provided by the city of the expected residential impact:

The city expects to revisit the rates every year, which could see them adjusted either down or up.

Here is the memo from the city manager to city council about sewer rates and the wastewater treatment plant:

The City has been considering the scope and implementation of Wastewater Treatment Plant improvement projects for the last sixteen months. This process started with the Siting Study and has progressed to the point where we now have a well-defined plan for a comprehensive scope of work. The primary objective of this plan is to ensure that the plant is operating effectively and is capable of handling current and future demands. This plan currently includes phasing in different aspects of the project over five years. While we can look at the timing and implementation of various elements at different times, ultimately the goal is to implement the full scope of work in that five-year time frame. Every element of the plan has some degree of criticality. Certain elements of the plan are also tied directly to the City’s Administrative Consent Order and must be addressed in as timely a manner as possible.

The City intends to apply for State Revolving Fund Loan dollars to fund this project. In doing so, the cost for this work will not be born exclusively on current rate payers but spread out over the 20-year or 30-year repayment period for the loan.

The goal for Phase I of this plan is to address all of the essential compliance concerns identified during the ACO process and improve the headworks of the plant. It is the recommendation of the Water/Wastewater Ad Hoc Committee that we also pursue elimination of the RBCs as part of Phase I since this also poses a potential compliance concern. Implementation of the Biosolids Study would then move to Phase II.

The recommendation of the Water/Wastewater Ad Hoc Committee is that we pursue all of the following projects in Phase I:

• Site improvements

• Influent sewer

• Influent screening building

• Raw sewage pump building

• 1.5 MG EQ basin

• 3RD primary tank and modifications

• 3rd final (secondary) tank and modifications

• RAS/WAS pumping

• Aeration

• Digester modification

• Electrical and generator improvements

• Collection system improvements (I/I)

The total cost for Phase I work is estimated at $62M. Remaining work, including the fourth primary and final clarifiers and biosolids plan would occur in FY27 with an estimated cost of $19.6M. Expansion related projects such as addition of the fourth primary and final clarifiers would be considered when adopting new connection fees as these costs are largely attributed to growth associated with future users.

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