WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons considered options Tuesday for repaying loans for the wastewater system upgrade but want to hear from ratepayers before making a decision.

A public hearing will take place during the next board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Town Office.

After reviewing the present billing system, Mandy Olver of Olver Associates proposed options for increasing rates to cover debt payments and operate the system.

Sewer bills currently include an amount of $45.38 each for repayment of sewer debt.

A total of $426,889 is needed for annual payments of the four loans required by the upgrade. Divided by the town’s 893 sewer accounts, users face an annual debt charge of about $480, or $120 on every quarterly bill.

In addition, the town budget provides for $340,000 for operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment system. Users are charged based on their water usage.

There is a minimum charge of $59.24 with an additional charge of $2.024 per 100 cubic feet up to 5,000 cubic feet per quarter. Larger users are charged less, $1,012 per cubic foot for amounts over 5,000 cubic feet per quarter. 

There are approximately 40 users who discharge higher quantities of wastewater, while the majority, 754, use between 1,000 cubic feet and 1,500 cubic feet per quarter, she said.

Olver proposed options to increase rates. One option would be to continue billing with the same rate structure, with higher users receiving the discounted rate or to use the same rate for all users. She also proposed rates with an additional 5 percent contingency amount. The contingency would help cover the debt and operations when bills are not all paid on time.                                                               

The town has closed on two loans and will close on two more this month, Olver said. The four loans total $426,889 in annual payments.

The first Rural Development loan has an annual payment of $168,049; a Department of Environmental Protection State Revolving Fund loan’s annual payment is $23,414. The two Rural Development loans closed on this month require payments of $111,621 and $123,805.

By closing this month, the town will save $34,646 per year in payments for the two Rural Development loans. The savings are due to a decrease in current interest rates from the time the town was awarded the funds, she said. This amounts to over $1 million in savings over the life of the loans.

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