WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) — The Wausau Water Works Commission took no action regarding potential funding for a granular activated carbon filtration system to be installed at the city’s new drinking water treatment plant in the next five years.
Representatives from Ehlers Financial were on hand to present their findings on how to come up with the $17 million for the project, including one option that would have the utility borrowing the full amount and two others that rely on funding from the state’s safe drinking water loan program along with a combination of safe drinking water loans and ARPA funding.
While the data they presented showed the average quarterly bill for 15,000 gallons going from around $85 to between $111 and $117, many on the commission noted that those numbers should not be taken as gospel just yet. “We have so many variables in here so we need to make sure we address as many as we can up front,” said Robinson. “Those rates don’t necessarily reflect the universe of our costs, we will want to be careful,” he added.
Public Works Director Eric Lindman adds that there is also the issue of how to fund the move, saying it’s likely that the utility will have to do some short-term borrowing to cover a gap from the time work starts on the system to when funding becomes available.
Mayor Katie Rosenberg, who chairs the Commission, added that if the move comes with a significant cost increase for customers they may want to consider a change from quarterly billing to monthly.