WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau will raise sewer rates by 25 percent next year, meaning the average homeowner will see their rates go up about $9 a quarter.
The City Council passed the increase 9-2 Tuesday. Alderwomen Lisa Rasmussen and Sherry Abitz voted against the higher rates.
City officials need the higher rates because the water utility is operating under a nearly $1 million deficit. Customers are using less water and maintenance costs are rising, public works director Brad Marquardt said.
The city plans to make millions in repairs next year to aging infrastructure that include $500,000 to replace filters that remove corrosive chemicals from the wastewater and $2.6 million to replace an aerator that purifies the water before it is eventually discharged into the Wisconsin River.
Council members said they did not want to burden taxpayers with another increase for city services. But many said that not passing the higher rates could lead to even higher costs if the city had to replace equipment or fell out of compliance with strict state and federal regulations.