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Council sets new wastewater, stormwater rates

December 16, 2010
By Deb Gau

MARSHALL - Rate increases for Marshall wastewater and surface water utilities have been set for 2011, after public hearings at the Marshall City Council's regular meeting Tuesday. The approved rates will mean an 8.5 percent increase in monthly sewer fees and a 9.25 percent increase in monthly minimum storm sewer charges for local users.

In a presentation to the council, Marshall city engineer Glenn Olson said the rate increases were what Springsted, Inc., the city's financial consultant, projected to help keep Marshall's wastewater and surface water funds stable. The city wastewater fund is a utility fund with revenues and expenses separate from the city general fund, Olson said. Olson recommended that the city approve a projected rate increase of 8.5 percent a year for wastewater fees. For residential customers, that would translate into an increase of $1.28 for monthly base fees and a increase of 26 cents per thousand gallons of wastewater. Industrial wastewater fees would 13 cents per thousand gallons of wastewater.

Olson said major industrial wastewater customers, like Schwan, ADM, and Turkey Valley Farms, had already been notified of proposed rate increases. Most large industrial customers have their own separate wastewater rates by contract with the city, Olson said.

While a revenue increase was proposed for surface water fees, Olson said, the increase was not as steep as the 14 percent a year that a 2007 financial review had projected. A 9.25 percent total revenue increase was recommended, which would mean a 33 cent increase in the monthly stormwater utility rate for a single-family residence. Monthly rates would go up $2.43 for commercial property, $1.89 for industrial property, and three cents for agricultural property.

There was only one public commenter who spoke during the public hearings. Ron Labat, representing the Marshall Golf Club board, questioned the fee rate at which the golf course would be charged for stormwater management. The golf course does not have storm sewer service, Labat said, and in the past year there have been problems with water collecting on parts the course. Labat asked if it would be possible for the city to address the drainage issues, or to allow the golf course to pay a lower surface water rate.

After the hearings were closed, the council voted to pass two resolutions setting the new rates.



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