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Sewage, stormwater fees rising in Highland

Updated: July 5, 2014 6:23AM



HIGHLAND — Residents will see their sewage treatment and stormwater fees steadily increase over the next three years, starting next month.

At a special meeting Tuesday, the Highland Sanitary District Board approved a resolution to raise fees by 8 percent in each of the next three years.

As of July 1, single-family homes will be charged $8.69 per month and multifamily dwellings will be charged $6.51 for one to four units, $4.77 for five to 12 units and $3.03 for buildings with greater than 12 units. Nonresidential buildings will be charged anywhere from $8.69 to $173.78 per month, depending on the building’s category.

Resident Tom Black asked district commissioners whether plans for a new water tank were the reason for the increase. Public Works Director John Bach said a tank on the north side of town has been discussed but nothing has been decided. The higher fees are not related to that project, Bach said.

Clerk-Treasurer Michael Griffin explained that a study conducted by London Witte Group looked at both the sanitary district’s routine and capital expenses and determined that much of what the town deems as capital costs could be classified as maintenance expense. The report also showed that the district’s expenses have been exceeding its reserves.

Griffin said the fee increase will shore up the district’s property tax levy and its $1.5 million budget.

“We’re dealing with staging (the fee increase) so as to not overburden residents because we do try to think of what residents pay for (the district),” he said.

The district board also voted to approve an agreement between the sanitation and parks and recreation departments for landscaping improvements on 45th and Fifth streets. The sanitation department will contribute $6,000 to the project.



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