Significant Increases in Swan River Water & Septic Rates

ValleyBiz Story |

The Public Utilities Board (Board) has approved revised water and wastewater rates effective January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018 for the Town of Swan River (Town).

Sewer rates will increase 93.09% in 2017 (from $2.75 to $5.31 per 1,000 gallons) and 39.55% in 2018 (to $7.41 per 1000 gallons).

Water rates will increase 18.18% in 2017 (from $5.50 to $6.50 per 1,000 gallons) and 10.15% in 2018 (to $7.16 per 1,000 gallons).

In their report, the Board states, “The Board is sensitive to the magnitude of the rate increases; however it must consider the sustainability of the Utility when approving rates.” The Board noted that rate shock is common where rate requirements are not addressed for significant periods of time and that it has been 15 years since the Town of Swan River has had a rate increase approved. “Consumers are generally more tolerant of regular, smaller increases.” said the Board in their report, adding that “The Town needs to be more diligent in conducting regular reviews of its revenue requirements.”

The Board denied the request by the Town for an increase in tipping fees and will order the Town of Swan River to revise the tipping fee schedule to reflect the charges that were in effect prior to an unapproved change in rates in January 2016. The change increased tipping fees by 233% for holding tanks and 150% for septic tanks.

Effective December 1, 2016, tipping fees will be reduced back to $15 per holding tank from $50 and $80 per septic tank from $200. The change will not be retroactive. The Board encouraged the Town to file an application for revised tipping fees with all of the necessary information and evidence to support an increase in tipping fees.

Click here to see the full schedule of rate increases, background information and other board findings.