Shorewood water rates to rise 5 percent
By Clare Walters Correspondent November 28, 2012 10:26AM
Updated: December 30, 2012 3:41PM
Water rates for Shorewood residents will increase by 5 percent Jan. 1.
The Shorewood Village Board on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment to its water rate ordinance effectively increasing residential, commercial and industrial rates by 5 percent.
The monthly base rate for each residence will be $3.47 with an additional cost of $3 per 1,000 gallons used.
Interim Village Administrator Art Osten said the increase is needed in order to cover the village’s operating expenses for its water system. It’s expected that a 5 percent increase would be implemented each year for five years.
A recent study of the revenues and expenses associated with the village’s water system revealed that the village would be operating at a deficit in five years without such an annual increase, he said.
Village officials will check its budget each year to see if the increases remain a necessity.
Trustee Dan Anderson said the board has thoroughly discussed the need for the water rate increase — something that hasn’t been done in several years.
“I think everybody’s had a good look at it,” he said, before asking the board pass the measure Tuesday instead of waiting until its next meeting. “This is something we have to do.”
Mayor Richard Chapman agreed.
“This increase needs to begin so three years down the road we’re not operating in the red,” he said.
The village’s water system is aging, Chapman said, which means repairs and maintenance will be continuing expenses. While rates are increasing to offset costs, the village also is employing technology to help address necessary repairs in a more efficient manner.
The village’s Public Works Department uses a geographic information system that tracks and maps the village’s infrastructure.
“With the new GIS system, it will make it much easier to locate a valve get it shut off, get it repaired and get you back in service in a timely manner,” Chapman said.