Presque Isle Sewer Rates to Increase

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 8:52 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Presque Isle Utilities District has announced a 9% increase of the sewer rate each year for the next three years. News Source 8′s Cam Smith has more on what this means for residents.

Presque isle residents will see a 9% increase in their sewer rate each year for the next three years. The decision was made to phase the increases rather than abruptly raising the rates. By 2023 the rate is projected to increase a total of 27%.

“I understand that people aren’t going to be happy with rate increases. None of us ever are. Unfortunately, this is necessary. The district entered into a consent agreement, and the alternative was to not enter into that agreement and be fined monetarily from DEP for every violation. So, the upgrade is required.”

According to Ross McQuade, Superintendent of the Presque Isle Utilities District, the increase is a result of a two-phase process.

“The district needed to look at alternative means for disposing of the sludge. So phase one does that. It will install equipment that enhances the drying method of the sludge. It will be going… dried and then be transported to a landfill. Phase two of the treatment project, is the increase in capacity to the higher flow levels of nearly 10 million gallons.”

The cost of the project is roughly 15.6 million dollars. 6 million of that total comes from a grant. Leaving the remaining 9.6 million coming from a loan to be repaid over a 40-year period. McQuade says that the individual cost for residents will differ.

“The sewer bill is tied to the water consumption. But an average water rate fare, residential rate fare should expect to see an increase in their annual sewer bill, of 40-45 dollars a year again depending on their water consumption.”

McQuade says that the first 9% increase is expected to be effective on January 1st of 2021. Cam Smith News Source 8.

Copyright 2020 WAGM. All rights reserved.

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