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Wausau water commission approves sewer rate increase

Wausau City Hall
Wausau City Hall

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – The Water Works Commission in Wausau has forwarded on a proposed 25 percent sewer rate increase to the full city council for approval.

The move came after a public hearing this afternoon that saw some heated language from residents and business owners in the city. Mark Hadley called the increase excessive, saying it would further stress businesses and non-profits that were already stressed thin due to the recession. He also called it a profit grab for the city. “They're already funding $502,000 dollars, $450,000 to the city budget each year.”

Commission member Ed Gale says the rate increases will be going towards a set of new aeration systems for the water treatment plant as well as a refurbishing of the rest of the facility. “We're working with 20 year old equipment that's breaking down. We have to update our equipment and continue to be good stewards of the water that we have.”

The city is looking at the increase of the sewer rates due to a decrease in usage by customers across the board. The average water usage rate is down 12 percent over the past decade, and the city has been starting to have issues with cash flow in the water department.

The city council will have a chance to vote on the issue at their next meeting.