From the South Milwaukee Water Utility …
The South Milwaukee Water Utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to increase water rates. A Public Hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Public Service Commission Hearing Room, on the first floor of the Hill Farms State Office Building, 4288 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705.
Comments can be submitted for the hearing via the web, orally, written, or mailed (see attached notice above).
- Water rates will be increasing in the near future. The average residential user’s rate will increase approximately $12.00 per month (or $48 per trimester-billing cycle). This reflects a 38% increase.
- The rate increase is due primarily to our required investment in a large infrastructure project, as well as increases in operating expenses (gas, electric, supplies, and personnel costs, etc.).
- The large infrastructure project was the replacement of the clearwells that are located at the plant. The project is being constructed now and previously approved by the South Milwaukee Common Council. The Department of Natural Resources required this project as our previous clearwells were underground but current regulations require them to be above ground.
- The rates will increase in two steps: The first step will be implemented as early as April 1, and the second step as early as August 1. The rates and implementation schedule are reviewed and determined by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), which is a state regulatory agency.
- The last water rate increase of 3% was in 2013. PSC regulations dictate when the rates can be increased. Unfortunately, the regulations do not allow for incremental increases to avoid drastic increases.
- With the increase, our water rates continue to remain competitive with other similar water utilities.
- Lastly, please note this increase is in addition to a previously approved increase in the sewer rates, which has been reflected on most bills. This increase was primarily used to fund the construction of a new lift station on North Chicago Avenue.
You can see more details on the water project here.