The Arlington Village Board of Trustees continued their discussion about water and sewer rates at their regular board meeting Monday.
"What Travis (Kraemer) and I are suggesting is we raise water rates $3 and sewer rates $3 one time, we don't do a two-year bump and we review this in 12-24 months," Chairman Paul Krause said. "We are having a meeting with PeopleServices. We are going to try and get aggressive with finding water infiltration and see if we can find ways to cut our expenses on our water infiltration. We are hoping we can find a way to bring these expenses down."
Krause said he recommends the board doesn't change the rates after one year.
Kraemer said the current water rate is $29.50 and sewer is $31. Those prices would rise to $32.50 and $34, respectively.
Arlington resident Ron Christensen asked the board about the increase.
"It sounds like the increase is mostly due to the ingress of water into the sewer system and you're going to increase the water rates?" Christiansen asked.
Krause said the village is trying to keep in front of expenses on both water and sewer.
Christensen asked about keeping the expense of the bond that's been paid off.
"We still have a bond for the wastewater force main. The bond for the water plant was paid for," Krause said. “We have expenses for our water plant even after the bond was paid for."
Those expenses include paying for painting the water tower and installing new water meters.
"Those expenses have come up, even though the bond is gone," Krause said. "We are looking at a $70,000 painting of the inside of the water tower."
Krause said the biggest bill is the sewer that is sent to Fremont.
"We see those numbers go up when it rains and that's the figure we think we can do something about," he said. "We really can't control anything on the water side other than asking people to use less water.
Board member Jason Wiese said there are expenses also on doing a rehab of a second well a few years ago, and being close to having to put a new well in.
The Nebraska Rural Water Association water study suggested a higher rate hike.
"Based on the rate study they gave us, they recommended that to break even we should do $38 a month for sewer," Kraemer said. "We need to find a way to make improvements, reduce our wastewater and send less to Fremont."
Krause said at the May 18 regular meeting that the rate increase was suggested due to annual contract increase with PeopleService, rate increase from Fremont utilities department and the increase of expenses in general.