Utilities

WATER METER REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

Calendar with open appointment times is here:

June – METER CHANGE CALENDAR

July – METER CHANGE CALENDAR

[Calendar updated 06/21/2024 02:22pm]

The appointment is not final until you receive confirmation.  Please leave an accurate telephone number or email address as a means of confirming the appointment and to notify you if the operator is delayed or the appointment must be rescheduled.

REASON FOR PROGRAM

There are several technologies on the market that allow water meters to be read without an operator entering the home or business to access the meter directly.  The Village currently utilizes two systems–a remote outside meter attached to the building exterior and connected by wire to the meter inside; and transmitters (or ‘endpoints’), which emit a radio signal that in most cases can be picked up by a handheld data collector while the operator remains in the vehicle or walks nearby.  Both of these systems represent old technology in our modern computerized world.

With vendor support ending for the remote units and reading software, forcing an upgrade, the Village Board authorized the purchase and installation of endpoints that rely on cellular technology.  The chosen system has a strong track record in other municipalities and an expected life of 20 years.  These upgrades will be made to all properties so each one will use the same endpoint technology, data collection, and software system.  This eliminates extra support and maintenance expenses and reduces staff time working with two systems.  It also allows the Village Board to proactively plan its next upgrades.

Public Works staff intend to change out all 5/8″ meters (used in residences and small businesses) within three years, or 600+ meters, beginning in 2023.

The first meters to be replaced are those installed prior to January 1, 2014, that must have the gallons read by the operator from a remote attached to a building exterior.  If there is no outside remote used at your property, your meter is not included in this round of upgrades and there is no need to schedule a meter change appointment.

Utility customers may experience an increased bill after the upgrade.  This is a one-time adjustment.  As the outside remote ages, the internal wheels can slow down, resulting in a discrepancy between the gallons that flow through the meter and the reading outside.  Billing should return to normal with the next bill.  In addition, summer sewer rates ended after the September meter reading.  The November bill was the first with regular rates.  Some customers may be realizing adjustments for both the return to regular sewer rates and the meter change.

Call the Clerk’s Office at 920-693-8181 if you would like your account reviewed or if billing does not return to normal.

Stacy Grunwald
Director of Village Services


Different Ways to Pay Your Water/Sewer Bill—

E-Check and Credit Card

Visit the PAYMENTS page of this website for a link to our third party provider.

Utility Auto-Pay Available (ACH Agreement)

Are you interested in automatic payment of your monthly water/sewer bills?  Complete the Authorization Agreement and, once approved, the bank will automatically withdraw the amount of the water/sewer bill from your designated account on the bill’s due date.  All you need to do is maintain a sufficient balance to cover the withdrawal.  No more checks to write.  No more payments late through the mail.  No more forgetting to leave the payment in the drop box!  Questions? Please call Julie or Stacy at (920) 693-8181.

Deferred Payment Agreement

To pay the balance of a water/sewer bill in installments, download and complete this Deferred Payment Agreement (PDF).  Return the form to the Clerk’s Office by drop box or mail.  We will contact you if there are questions, or mail a copy of the approved form back to you.


WATER UTILITY INVESTMENTS AND RATE CHANGE

Beginning in 2017, the Village Board and staff began a comprehensive review of assets, services, and staffing levels for the utility and village operations.  The purpose was to identify areas where investments were needed to secure public safety and health and improve the general quality of life and village services.

The Village Board prioritized several projects and upgrades to help meet these goals.  For the water utility, these were to maintain the water tower, replace water main, install an improved communication system, upgrade water meters and meter reading software to meet State regulations, and invest in personnel for emergency coverage and higher-level services.

The list below represents the most significant water utility investments in decades, but they were necessary for the Village to meet existing water demand safely and efficiently, and to lay the groundwork to support future growth.  The Village:

  • Completed maintenance and painted the water tower. This expense is the responsibility of the water utility.
  • Installed over 10,000 feet of new water main in 2020-2023 to address frequent water main breaks in some neighborhoods, extend the anticipated life of new streets, and improve water quality. This expense is the responsibility of the water utility.
  • Provided a communication system between utility sites and the village hall to replace 25-year-old, non-serviceable system controls, enable remote troubleshooting for system alarms, and track performance history. The expense for this investment is shared between the water utility and sewer utility.
  • Began replacing water meters to meet State mandates and upgrading water meter endpoints due to the end of manufacturer support for older endpoints and to improve water leak management. The expense for this program is shared between the water utility and sewer utility.
  • Filled a vacant full-time operator position on 11-27-2023 due to Manitowoc Public Utilities terminating its contract to provide emergency utility coverage. This change also allows the utility to establish a more robust flushing program and improve responsiveness to water quality concerns.  The expense for this position is shared between the water utility, sewer utility, and general operating fund.
  • Reclassified a temporary part-time position to permanent full-time in response to expanded workload in a highly regulatory environment, and customer requests for more frequent communication and access to village staff. This change allows us to increase the walk-in hours at Village Hall and provide more support to management and the utilities.  The expense for this position is shared between the water utility, sewer utility, and general operating fund.

The water utility faces the same increasing expenses such as electric and natural gas as other businesses.  Therefore, the Public Service Commission (PSC) increased water utility rates to cover the above projects plus the inflationary costs for day-to-day operations and routine maintenance.  The PSC found the rates below are necessary for the water utility to be fiscally responsible and have sufficient income for its current needs and the State’s financial requirements for utilities.  The new rates were effective February 28, 2024, and will appear for the first time on the April 1 water/sewer utility bill.

The updated water and sewer utility rate chart is provided below.  The rate increase applies only to the water utility.  There is no change to the sewer utility rates.

EXAMPLE:  The typical residential customer has a 5/8” meter.  The increase in the fixed rate is $17.79 per month.   This is the minimum increase in the monthly bill.  The increase in the volume charge (gallons of water measured by the meter) is $2.53 per month.  This rate is charged per thousand gallons, so an average customer using 3000 gallons will see a volume charge increase of $7.59 per month.  The total increase for fixed and volume charges is $25.38 per month.

DOCUMENTS
Water Rate Case Application
PSC Staff Analysis
PSC Cost of Service Analysis
PSC Final Decision 12-07-2023 
PSC Annual Report 2023  (Water Utility’s annual report to the Public Service Commission)
2023 Compliance Maintenance Annual Report, Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Facility


Water and Sewer Utility Rates

Water and Sewer Utility Rates Effective 02-28-2024


Consumer Confidence Report

Village employees work hard to maintain a safe and reliable water system, as evidenced by our monthly and annual reporting to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  The Consumer Confidence Report provides results of the water testing completed by independent laboratories on behalf of the Village.  We are pleased to report water quality testing confirmed the safety of our water supply, as shown on the report.

2023 Consumer Confidence Report (PDF)