BF council to hold public workshop regarding Peralta sewer project

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After hearing that several village residents had questions and concerns about Bosque Farms taking on the treatment of sewage from neighboring Peralta, Bosque Farms Mayor Bob Knowlton has organized a special public workshop on the subject.

The mayor said one councilor had received several phone calls from residents about the project, so Knowlton is hoping for a good turnout next week.

When the town of Peralta and the village began exploring hooking into the Bosque Farms treatment system, the mayor floated some estimates for monthly fees to the town based on what other cities charged their wholesale customers.

"The rate that we would set for Peralta, and the memorandum of understanding to be signed has yet to go before the councilors," he said. "They need to weigh in. These are very preliminary numbers."

The council will hold a workshop at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 15, at the meeting room in the Bosque Farms Library to discuss the village's infrastructure capital improvement plan, the terms of the MOU with Peralta and the rate structure for treating Peralta's waste.

The No. 1 priority in the village's ICIP for the last several years has been funding to improve its wastewater treatment plant.

At the June 19 council meeting, Bosque Farms resident Sharon Eastman raised the point that the monthly rate of $35 has been proposed for Peralta residents' sewer rates, with $5 of that going to the village.

"Mine is $38 and I live here," Eastman said. "That's not really a question; I'm just lodging a complaint."

In an interview Monday, Knowlton said monthly sewer rates for Peralta residents and businesses would be established by that governing body. He pointed out that operation and maintenance costs of a brand new system in Peralta would be less expensive than Bosque Farms' aging system.

"They will have a new system, so I don't expect them have the same expenses we do. We are spending $200,00-plus a year to replace and repair grinder pumps," he said.

New grinder pumps are estimated to last eight to 10 years.

"I would expect they will start down the same road we are on, eventually. Our rates were lower when our system was new."

Knowlton said eventually the two municipalities will sign an agreement that will allow Peralta to pay Bosque Farms for the service of processing its sewage.

"Prior to this being a 'done deal' with Peralta, there will be a contractual vehicle that will spell out in detail what that fee will be," the mayor said.

He continued, saying the council would review ordinances from other agencies that define how they treat wholesale customers versus residential and commercial customers.

"This is what we want to settle on now so Peralta can go on. We are hoping to get people out and talking about this," Knowlton said. "Peralta will have to hire its own people, create its own utility department.

"The village won't set residents' rates, bill or collect for Peralta. They will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of their system. We will collect a fee from the city for a service we provide — treating their waste."


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.