What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Enterprise Funds
Four Pleasant Prairie Utilities and the Recreation Division at LakeView RecPlex are operated as “enterprise funds.” They are called enterprise funds, because they are operated like a business. These areas receive income from: fees charged for services provided, loans, grants, the resale of capital equipment and donations. This income is then used to cover operating expenses, large capital purchases or improvements, and to pay down debt for the particular enterprise or area.

Pleasant Prairie uses the enterprise fund structure for these areas to more fairly distribute the costs associated with the ventures to all who benefit from or have an impact on the enterprise. For example, different types of properties in the Village have different sources of water; some properties have a well and some use Lake Michigan water from the City of Kenosha. By having the Water Utility operated as an enterprise fund, the Village is able to charge for water based on the level of service provided. If it were included on your property tax bill, smaller residential users could be paying the same as larger users, and some properties (like churches and the power plant) wouldn’t pay for the service they receive at all.

LakeView RecPlex, which is owned and operated by the Village of Pleasant Prairie, operates as an enterprise fund. The facility was originally constructed through a large donation from WisPark, the developer of LakeView Corporate Park. The donation stemmed from a cooperative effort between Village and WisPark officials. RecPlex is now financially supported by fees charged for services provided, loans, grants, the resale of capital equipment, donations and additional non-property tax sources. RecPlex continues to operate on its own and is not reliant on tax payer dollars.

During 2010, the Village will complete a major addition to LakeView RecPlex, a 50-meter Olympic-sized competition pool. Made possible through another community-focused partnership with Uline, which was announced in late 2008, construction of the new pool is expected to be complete in June of this year. Staff is already preparing to welcome large competitive swimming events this summer.

Similar to 2009, in response to rate increases from service providers and other economic factors, the charges on Pleasant Prairie utility bills are expected to increase during 2010. Rate increases are planned for the Water, Clean Water, and Solid Waste Utilities. Pleasant Prairie bills utility and solid waste customers for each of these charges on a single, monthly utility bill.

The water rate increase directly corresponds to an increase in rates charged to the Village by the Kenosha Water Utility. A Clean Water Utility rate increase will be used to help the Village to comply with federal mandates related to the reduction of pollutants in storm water runoff. It will also help to build funds that will be used to replace storm water management infrastructure, such as storm sewers, as they begin to age and deteriorate. The garbage and recycling increase corresponds to an increase in tipping fees per ton of garbage in 2010 and to new tipping fees for recycling that are a result of the economy’s impact on the recycling market.

For an average Village utility customer, your monthly bill will increase approximately $2.31, or roughly $28 for the year. The increase will allow the Village to maintain the level of service currently provided in each of these areas without creating a shortage of funds in future budgets. In certain areas, it will also help build reserve funds for future replacement costs. The chart above shows an average utility customer’s increase.

During 2010, the Village Sewer Utility will continue work to retire the two remaining sewage treatment plants in the Village, in order to comply with an agreement which provides the western half of the Village with safe drinking water from Lake Michigan. This includes work to install the infrastructure that will carry wastewater to the Kenosha Water Utility for treatment. By the start of 2011, all wastewater generated by residents in the Village will be transported to the Kenosha Water Utility for treatment and its eventual return to Lake Michigan (within the Great Lakes Basin).

As part of legislation to protect the Great Lakes water resources, municipalities that draw water from within the basin for use outside of the basin (such as the western half of the Village) must return that water to its source of origin. You can find more information related to the history of water in the Village, in the News section of PleasantPrairieOnline.com. Once there, scroll down to read the February article titled Historical Water Agreement Impacts the 2008 Budget.

For a downloadable version of this article, please see the PDF below.

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