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Service extension raises sewer rates

by Western News
| May 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Libby City Council unanimously voted at a special meeting Wednesday to increase city sewer rates in order to extend service to residents in the Cabinet Heights area.

The vote will cause sewer base rates to increase by $1.79 per month. In addition, the city will charge 66 cents more for the usage fee, which is currently $1.34 per 1,000 gallons of water used per month. Usage is based on water meter measurements during the months of October, November and December, and averages 4,800 gallons, according to Mayor Doug Roll.

Roll estimates the sewer increase to average $64 per household per year.

In order to receive a $1.8 million bond to extend sewer service to about 103 residents between the water treatment plant and the golf course, the city had to pass the increases.

The sewer extension was projected to cost $3.2 million, but the lowest bidder pegged it at $1.7 million, Roll said. If the project ends up costing less than planned, sewer rates could be lowered in the future.

“Once the project gets done, we’ll refigure these sewer rates,” Roll said, which could be as early as 6-8 months.

The city is funding the project in anticipation of future lots hooking up to the system. The sewer line will run right up to the Cabinet View Golf Course property, but future developers will have to pay $750,000 to get the golf course online. In addition, the 150 adjacent lots will each be required to pay regular hook-up fees and a Plant Improvement Fee of $1,800 in order to connect to the city’s system.

The sewer line will run right up to the Cabinet View Golf Course property, but future developers will have to pay $750,000 to get the golf course online. In addition, the golf course has about 150 lots that will eventually be developed and need to hook up to the city’s system. Each lot will cost the developer a Plant Improvement Fee of $1,800, along with regular hook-up fees.