The Brusly Town Council, Monday evening during their May committee meeting, discussed raising residents’ sewage rates.
Mayor Joey Normand said that the town’s flat fee of $18 per month has been the sewage rate for 10 years, and the council should consider adjusting the rates to help maintain costs of upkeep and modifications on the system.
“The system is old and we’re having to make modifications,” Normand said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning. “We’re finding every year, we’re just able to make ends meet, but we’re not able to improve the system and make it more reliable.”
Normand said that the Brusly’s current sewer system was built in 1983, and though it works properly, needs to be maintained consistently.
“I suggested to the council that we have a rate increase so we could keep the system working the way it should be,” Normand said. “We don’t want to wait until after we have problems and then go into a panic mode.”
The council will vote Monday, May 13, to allow a sewage rate increase of 5% each year for the next three years.
According to Normand, the increase will equal about $0.95 for each residential customer.
The council will also vote to increase the sewer connection fee by $100.
The current sewer connection fee, which allows new homes being built within town limits to connect sewage lines to the town’s system, is $150.
Normand said that the proposed $250 for sewer connection fee will still be drastically lower than other nearby municipalities.
“We’re way below what other people charge,” he said. “It’s just something that we should have done years ago but we didn’t really pay much attention to it.”
In other business, the council discussed waving the Ad Valorem Tax in 2013 for residents.
Normand explained that the Ad Valorem Tax is a property tax for the town – a tax that the town has declined to collect from residents for the passed seven years.
He said that the tax amounts up to approximately $25,000, and though the town is entitled to collect, the council decides to give residents a break.
“We have a good bit of money in the bank – we just don’t need it,” he said.
The council will vote Monday on the resolution to discontinue the taxes for the year.