Springdale, AK: Council votes to increase sewer rates $2.40/month for expansion

SPRINGDALE -- Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to increase monthly sewer rates to pay for a planned $32.5 million expansion of the waste-water treatment plant.
    The plan will increase rates by 40 cents per 1,000 gallons of sewer service a year for the next three years. The first increase will take effect in March.
    Rene Langston, director of Springdale Water Utilities, said the rate increase is needed to help repay bonds. About $4 million will be needed each year to repay the debt, he said.
    "With the rate of growth in the city, we are rapidly approaching the plant's capacity," Langston said.
    About 17,886 sewer customers will be affected by the increase, he said.
    Average sewer use by residents amounts to 6,000-10,000 gallons a month, Langston said. The monthly bill for 6,000 gallons of sewer use is $10.99, which will increase by $2.40 a month with the first rate increase, he explained.
    The waste-water treatment plant, which sits off Silent Grove Road in northwest Springdale, was built in 1964 and has been upgraded numerous times as the city grew, Langston said.
    Demand has nearly exceeded the plant's ability to treat 12 million gallons of incoming waste each day, he said.
    The expansion will occur in two phases.
    The first phase of construction will begin by early 2002, Langston said, and will expand the plant's treatment capacity to 18 million gallons a day.
    The second phase isn't slated for completion until 2010 and will further increase the treatment capacity from 18 million gallons to 24 million gallons a day.
    "We hate to increase rates, but we need the money to expand and grow," he said.
This article was published on Wednesday, December 13, 2000