Council OKs 7% sewer rate increase, larger hikes loom

Expected water rate hikes of 15%, 20% to pay for $18M plant project
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington residents will find themselves paying more for sewer service next year.

The Common Council last week approved a 7.2% increase in rates next year.

That will increase the average residential customer’s bimonthly bill by $6.46, or $3.23 a month, officials said.

But that’s not the only utility rate increase city residents are facing. In August, officials said the city is expected to seek a 15% water rate increase from the Public Service Commission for 2023, or $22.312 per bimonthly bill, and a 20% increase in 2024.

Those increases are needed to pay for an estimated $18.3 million project to correct deficiencies at the water plant, replace equipment at the end of its life and increase efficiency.

The sewer rate increase is on top of an 11% increase last year. In 2024, residents can expect to see another 5% to 7% increase in the sewer rate, officials said.

The rate increases are needed to finance improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, including an emergency generator, phosphorus analyzer, blower replacement and other items.

“We’re paying for upgrades now and in the next two years,” Wastewater Supt. Dan Buehler told aldermen.

The increases, he noted, were recommended in a study done by Strand Associates, the city’s consultant, as the plant improvements were considered.

The rate hike will increase the utility’s revenue by $170,000 annually, according to the city.

The new rates take effect Jan. 1, with homeowners seeing the impact on their March bill.

But, Buehler said, even with the increases, Port will continue to have the lowest sewer rate in the area.

“We will still be the lowest after the 2023 increases are implemented,” he said. “We would still be the lowest, even with the 2024 increase.”

According to the city, Port’s quarterly sewer charge for someone who uses 18,000 gallons of water is $151.20.

In Belgium, the fee is $247.89, in Grafton it’s $219.78, in Fredonia $206.92, in Cedarburg $198.90, in Mequon $195.86 and in Saukville $169.64.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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