Sewer District addresses public questions
December 26, 2019
SEELEY LAKE - This article is to address the common questions the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board has heard regarding the recent mailing.
1. Why did I receive this letter requesting I sign a temporary right of entry for construction? The project is almost ready to go to bid and the Board wanted to get construction easements in place before the contract is awarded. They will bid to connect all existing properties that generate wastewater but will not be able to do the work on personal property without notarized permission.
2. I have more than one lot but only one home or business so do I only need to sign the Temporary Right of Entry for the lot with a septic? Yes, only for lot where a contractor will come onto your property to connect to the sewer and properly abandon the existing septic.
3. All of my lots are vacant -do I need to return any forms? No, the forms are only needed for construction work on your property. Vacant lots will be provided a stub in the public right of way for future connection.
4. Why does the form have to be notarized? It is a legal document so the signature needs to be notarized. All owners listed on the title must sign.
5. Why do they need to be returned by Dec. 31 and what if I miss that deadline? The short turn-around was chosen so people would return it early and not set it aside and forget about it. The Board will continue to accept forms after the New Year.
6. The letter feels like an ultimatum, if I don’t sign the forms, I have to pay myself. It was meant to be informative, not threatening. The Board and USDA Rural Development, the biggest funder of the project, want to make sure property owners understand that we must have permission for a contractor to connect your home or business and if you are not connected during the construction, you will have to hire a contractor at some future date when you need to connect.
7. The adopted Rules and Regulations require connection. Can the Sewer District force me to connect? The Board recognizes that we do not have the authority to force connection. The Board adopted the required connection for two reasons. 1. To protect water quality - in order to be effective in reducing the nitrate and coliform levels in ground water the Board recognizes connecting all the existing septic systems is necessary to remove the source of pollutants. 2. To share the cost of operations and maintenance over more ratepayers. Connecting more properties reduces the monthly rate.
8. What does my water use have to do with the sewer plant? Each gallon that you use to shower, wash clothes or flush a toilet goes into the system and requires treatment.
9. What will my monthly sewer bill be?
• Benefited Lot -Every lot in the District will pay a $5.00 benefited lot fee to share the administrative cost of the work of the board.
• Operations/ Maintenance/ Repairs - The adopted rate of $70.84 based on 150 users – as more users connect the rate will go down.
• Usage Charge - $2.00/1000 gallons of water used.
• Total monthly rate approximately, $77.84 per single family home and the rate will go down as more connections are made.
• Debt Service – Each lot in Phases 1, 2, 3 & 4 will share equally the cost of constructing the treatment plant – no more than $360.72/ year. The collections system costs for each phase may differ. For Phase 1 the annual cost is no more than $296.16/ year. These payments will be added to the annual property tax bills, no earlier than 2021, and can be paid in two payments. This works out to $30.06/month for the treatment plant (for all Phases) and $24.68/ month for the collection system in Phase 1.
• Cost of Operations + Debt - If you live in Phase 1, your monthly budget will need to cover roughly $132.58 until additional properties connect and share in the cost of operating the system.