Brusly council ponders sewer fee increase

Mayor Joey Normand asked the Town Council on Monday night to consider implementing a user rate increase for the residential sewer fee, which he said could help keep the town’s sewer fund operating in the black for the next six years.

“If we do nothing, we’ll have to cut back on modifications and improvements to our sewer system,” Normand said during a committee meeting where he presented the council with cost projections for several sewer fee increase scenarios.

The town needs between $210,000 to $240,000 annually over the next couple of years to properly maintain its sewer system and keep the operating fund from sinking into a deficit, Normand said.

The sewer operating fund is headed for a $3,000 shortfall for the 2012 fiscal year, according to Normand’s report.

The mayor’s proposal included monthly flat fee increases of $1, $2 and $3 and a 5 percent annual increase.

Brusly residents pay $18 a month for sewer service. The sewer rate has not been increased since 2003, when the rate jumped $5 a month with council approval, the mayor said.

The mayor’s proposal received very little opposition from the council.

Councilman Shane Andre said he prefers a flat fee increase because it would be easier for residents to comprehend.

Councilman Scot Rhodes proposed implementing the 5 percent incremental increase for three years and having the council revisit the issue during the fourth year of its current terms before the next election cycle.

Normand did not oppose Rhodes’ proposal.

The council most likely will introduce the ordinance for the sewer fee increase during its regular meeting next week.