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Wellington raises city sewer rates

Sun Advocate reporter

After explaining to citizens that "this is not something any of us want to do, it's something we have to do," Wellington Mayor Ben Blackburn called for a motion, a second, and a vote on the city's proposed increase in sewer rates.

The vote was unanimously in favor. As a result, rates will jump to $28.00 per month from the previous $22.75.

During a public hearing on the matter before the vote, Blackburn explained to citizens the reasons for the measure.

First, the city needs an extra $1.50 per month to pay off its $240,000, zero-interest bonds for sewer repairs. Wellington has already received an outright $240,000 grant from the state's Community Impact Board, but the board would not grant the full cost of $480,000.

The balance would have to come as a loan. In addition to paying off the loan principal, the city must also build up a reserve equal to a year's worth of payments to meet the bonding requirements.

More expensive than the bond payments of $8,000 per year, however, is a new state requirement that the city flush and videotape all of its main lines every five years.

Based on the $75,000 this year's survey is expected to cost, it means the city will add $2.50 to its monthly bills.

Other factors included a $1.00 per month increase in payments to the Price River Water Improvement District for sewage treatment and a 25-cent hike in cleaning and maintenance.

While the mayor had explained that the CIB would not authorize a 100 percent grant because it deemed the city's current rates were too low, citizen Ken Smith commented that Heber City and St. George have lower rates.

Blackburn replied that he did not know how those two cities could offer lower prices, but that he was certain his city accounted for all the factors involved in its rates.

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