Caledonia Village Council passes motion to increase sewer rates

Members of the Caledonia Village Council meet for their weekly meeting to discuss raising sewer rates on Monday, May 13. (Photo by Tony Wittkowski)

Members of the Caledonia Village Council meet for their weekly meeting to discuss raising sewer rates on Monday, May 13. (Photo by Tony Wittkowski)

By Tony Wittkowski | Contributing Reporter | The Sun and News

Rainy days have arrived in the Village of Caledonia where council members at their meeting on Monday, May 13 agreed to raise sewer rates to replenish its rainy day fund that was swamped by last month’s excessive rainfall.

Village Council President Glenn Gilbert reported that a workshop held the previous week a lawyer, an engineer, and a consultant from Waste Water.

Treatment carefully analyzed the strain placed on sewer capabilities due to the rain.

“We went over the rain increase because we had a significant, outside normal maintenance being done,” Gilbert said. “The additional expenditures impacted our rainy day fund both literally and figuratively.”

At this point, the village is vulnerable if an emergency were to occur because of the deficits incurred.

After the council went over the numbers on Monday, it found a way to make up what was lost.

The result is an increase in sewer rates from $20.25 to $22.25 for Caledonia residents. Over one year, the $2 increase is expected to make up the deficit caused by last month’s flooding.

“This will be a good increase long term and we will do it, starting July 1,” Gilbert said. “We’ll take a look at it again at the end of the year to see what the impact is. Then we will likely keep it in place until this time next year and make an adjustment either up or down.”

Gilbert said that, though Caledonia is seeing an increase in home construction, it is losing a significant portion of the tax revenue that construction normally would bring.

Gilbert attributed this to the decision by the Caledonia Township to move the northwest portion of the township to the Grand Rapids waste water treatment system.

The council meets next Monday, June 10, and invites all residents to attend.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on May 18, 2013)

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