Week of March 4, 2018

The Birchwood newsletter went out this week.  You should be receiving it soon.  Mahtomedi sent theirs out recently as well.  Coincidentally, both include information on sewer and water rates.  Here is what I noticed:
 
Birchwood rates are very similar to Mahtomedi’s.  We have a few more tiers that cover higher usage amounts.  Yet, the big difference is our water is partially softened by the City of White Bear Lake before we buy it.  That means most of us do not have water softeners and the hassle and cost that goes along with that.  Mahtomedi on the other hand, is hard water and that takes its toll on pipes and fixtures.
 
Our sewer rates are a bit different. We charge a base rate of $36 for every user; Mahtomedi charges $16.  However, the unit costs are also very different.  For every 100 cubic feet of water disposed, Birchwood charges $3.12…Mahtomedi charges $5.64.  That means for anyone who uses more than 1000 cubic feet (or 7500 gallons) per quarter, the Mahtomedi costs begin to exceed ours.  For a point of reference, the average consumption in Birchwood is about 2000 cubic feet.  So in the end, our savings are greater. Either way, the big takeaway is it is very expensive to pipe and treat sewage.
 
But the real difference between us and Mahtomedi is the $20 per quarter storm water fee and $8/quarter recycling fee.   We have neither, as these costs are already included our annual budget.
 
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