|BG eases in septic hauling rate hike|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel City Editor|
|Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:45|
Bowling Green's Board of Public Utilities on Monday approved a measure to ease in septic waste hauling charges following a local business's concerns about a proposed rate change.
Utilities Director Brian O'Connell said the move was in an attempt to "take into consideration some of the points" made by Clean Water Service Inc.'s Tom Kurfis, who spoke up at the board's April 14 meeting. The business is located in Bellard Business Park.
At that time, Kurfis said CWS had basically stopped doing business with the city's wastewater treatment plant because of a nearly 55-percent increase in the hauling fees for the waste, or septage, that was proposed in February.
The now-approved incremental rate increase, beginning with May 1, will be 4.8 cents per gallon, a 14.1-percent increase over the previous rate. The septage hauling rate will increase by just over 14 percent on Jan. 1 of 2015 and 2016, ending at 6.3 cents per gallon.
In a May 6 memo to BPU members, O'Connell said the incremental increase "would also allow our septage hauling customers to better plan for the increases over a period of time with their customers."
He noted he had met with BPU members after the April 14 meeting and there was a consensus in favor of the incremental adjustment.
It costs approximately 10 cents per gallon to treat the material.
Rates and fees approved by the BPU are not subject to the approval of City Council.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a measure to put out for bid three-year leases for six city-owned agricultural properties which are in the final year of their leases. City council will subsequently need to pass an ordinance allowing the advertisements for bidding.
The properties are located at Van Camp Road; West Poe Road and Green Road; Carter Road and Newton Road; Brim Road and Newton Road; Napoleon Road; and Brim Road and Bishop Road, and amount to just under 422 acres. Currently three separate entities hold the lease contracts for the properties.
• Authorized O'Connell to apply for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission for renovations to the wastewater treatment plant's grit chamber.
Currently, he said that the grit chamber has a capacity of 16 million gallons per day, but the plant itself has a 30 million gallon daily capacity.
"We need to double the size and capacity of the existing grit chamber," he said.
The current differential in size between the two can cause grit to get into the plant's autothermal thermophilic anaerobic digestion (ATAD) process, "then we need to clean that out every couple years," which "is a labor-intensive process."
The ability to increase the capacity of the grit chamber would reduce necessary labor, he said.
The application will go before council for approval.
O'Connell said that, in the past, the city has garnered around $325,000 from the OPWC grants for projects.
• Heard Mayor Richard Edwards read a resolution recognizing the service of John Meekus, who has been a BPU member for 16 years. Meekus' reappointment to the board comes due at the end of May, and he has declined to be reappointed. Monday's meeting was his last as a board member.
O'Connell said Edwards is in the process of speaking with potential candidates for the seat. BPU members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by council.
• Entertained comments from, and held a dialogue with, members of the local group Citizens for a Liveable Future during the lobby visitation portion of the meeting. The group has been urging a reconsideration of the city's 40-year contract with the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois, which they say could cost customers up to $54 million more than other available sources.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 12:48|
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