Council approves increasing sewer rates to support current operations and future debt issuance for plant upgrades

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May 23, 2024 Portage Common Council approves increasing sewer rates to support current operations and future debt issuance for plant upgrades. City administrator Michael Bablick stated "last meeting talked about the need for an increase to sewer rates due to increased operational costs and of course the very large borrowing that's coming up in the future".
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Alderman Chris Crawley asked "could you, couple people ask me, could you explain why dnr's holding us to the discharge permit and why we need this". Bablick responded "there are new tmdl total maximum daily limits on certain nutrients that are coming out of the wastewater treatment and this isn't just Portage it's all over the state, phosphorus is the one in question right now it's the current plant is at its capacity and has a pretty archaic method of remediation". Director of Public works Philip Livingston stated "Phosphorus is the main component to this it's essentially a 30% reduction in what we're discharging currently directly to the Wisconsin River and like he said the plant is 40 years old, 40 plus years old. A lot of the components associated with our current system are outdated, repairs are costly and this modification will essentially set us up for the next 40 years.

Alderpersons Wetzel, Crawley, Bauer Frye, Paull, and Rohrbeck all voted in favor of the increase which be effective July 1st