Wilton sewer rate increases; tips are offered

WILTON – With their current bills (covering October to December 2017), users of the municipal sewer system noted an increase of $120 per unit per quarter. A hand-out explains the increases.

The Wilton Sewer Department has had an agreement with the Milford Wastewater Treatment Plant since 1981. As part of that agreement, Wilton must meet the standards of Milford, state and federal authorities.

Wilton is the largest customer, and pays about 15 percent of Milford’s operating costs. Currently, the department’s only source of revenue is users’ fees. That rate must cover minimum costs. In preparing the 2018 budget, the sewer commissioners faced several challenges:

• An anticipated increase in Milford’s rates.

• The Maple Street bond principal payment (for repair and replacement of lines) must be budgeted as an operating expense.

• Storing department equipment on town property and using public works employees to operate vs. contracting those expenses.

• Repayment of $46,738 loaned to the department by the town of Wilton.

• Establishing a reserve fund to meet future emergencies.

• Establishing a reserve fund for improvements to the infrastructure.

The commissioners believe the new rate will allow the department to meet its budget for 2018. The new rate still is one of the lowest in the area.

The commissioners are exploring grant opportunities to help support operations, and in the meantime, the department is committed to providing the best possible service at a fair and affordable rate.

The commission generally meets on the second Thursday of each month, and the public is invited to attend and offer comments and suggestions.

Sewer Commissioners are Chris Carter, chairman, Tim Mortvedt and Tracey Ewing.

The hand-out also lists what should not go into the sewer: Chemicals and solvents such as paint and nail polish remover; oils; grease or fats; paper; plastics; disposable diapers; tampons and condoms.

“Just flush the three Ps – pee, poop and (toilet) paper” to keep the system free-flowing, officials said.