Week of December 30, 2018

Last week the St Paul Pioneer Press ran a story about the sewer rates of communities in the area.  Birchwood was not noted, so I was curious to see where we sat relative to others. Here are some of the rates listed in the report (the PDF can be found by googling "2018 Met Council Municipal Residential Rates Survey").
North Oaks (lowest cost)$157
Birchwood $281
Median cost $303
White Bear Lake $317
White Bear Township $325
Mahtomedi $512
Independence (highest cost) $672
About two-thirds of our costs pay for treatment, the other costs are for maintenance, electricity, and repairs.  Our maintenance costs have gone down significantly since we began contracting with White Bear Township for maintenance a few years ago.
It should be noted that Met Council said Birchwood produced an 8% increase in volume over last year and will be raising our rates accordingly. The Birchwood Utility Committee has been reviewing our rates and it is recommended that we increase our use rate for 2019 by 8%. The council will be addressing this at our January meeting.
As an aside, I will be taking a tour of the Pigs Eye treatment plant in January.  The tours are free.  If you are inclined to join me, let me know.  We can make it a field trip with a lunch stop after.
Have a Happy New Year!