What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Enterprise Fund Budgets
Four Pleasant Prairie Utilities (Sewer, Water, Clean Water and Solid Waste/Sanitation) and the Recreation Division at 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. If the cost for operating these enterprises was 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. On December 19, the Village Board considered and passed the 2012 budgets for the Solid Waste Utility and the Clean Water Utility.

Solid Waste is the name of the utility that provides garbage, recycling, and leaf collection in addition to compost services for Village residents. As an enterprise fund, one of the ways the Solid Waste Utility covers the cost of providing services is by charging a fee for the services provided. During 2012, no rate increases have been planned for Solid Waste services. Residents who use the Village Solid Waste services have a direct impact on how high or low the utility’s costs are. Because the Solid Waste Utility pays a large tipping fee for disposing of residential garbage in a landfill, the less garbage residents produce, the lower the cost of the tipping fee. In the same vein, because the utility receives a rebate for recyclable materials collected, the more residents recycle, the larger the rebate the Solid Waste Utility receives to offset other expenses. (See page 6 for a garbage and recycling update).

The Clean Water Utility was created in 2006 in response to Federal mandates requiring municipalities to increase their efforts to improve storm water quality. These mandates are intended to protect the country’s natural water resources (lakes, streams, rivers and groundwater) from contaminated storm water runoff. Storm water originates from rain or melting snow. As it flows across the landscape, storm water collects contaminants and hazardous materials and transports them through the storm sewer and into our natural water resources.

All properties contribute to storm water runoff to varying degrees based upon the type of soil and surface on the property and how the property is used. The Village collects a storm water fee from property owners based upon how a property generates storm water. The funds collected by the utility are used to pay for maintenance of Village-owned storm water infrastructure (such as the storm sewer), the repair and cleaning of catch basins, preserving natural drainage systems like streams and vegetative buffers, and to build a fund for the future replacement of existing infrastructure. Clean Water Utility fees will not increase as a result of the 2012 budgeting process. The Utility will continue work on storm water solutions in the south Kenosha and Chateau Eau Plaines areas. The Utility will also work to inspect 5,000 feet (out of 42,000) of the behind the curb, sump drain lines during 2012. More information about the Clean Water Utility, including an informational video, is available by clicking here.

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