When the amount billed to residents in a community for utility bills surpasses 4% of the median income, its time to re-evaluate the situation. And that’s what’s going-on in Napoleon, after Courtney and Associates delivered their rate study information to the city’s board of public affairs on Monday. Sewer rates are actually going to be at 5.5% of the median income next year, with a 5% increase projected. After discussion at the Napoleon BPA meeting, it was determined the board will not recommend an increase for 2018. When rates reach that level, communities are rated in a hardship situation; and the EPA may be able to have more flexibility in requiring the findings and orders that were imposed over a decade ago. But another cloud on the horizon is the need for improvements at the Napoleon waste-water plant, which are anticipated at 12 million dollars, with work to be spread over the next 8 years. The Napoleon Board of Public Affairs is also discussing how to proceed with a sewer separation project required by the EPA on Clairmont Avenue; but no decision was made.
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