What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Water and Sewer Utilities
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ENTERPRISE FUND STRUCTURE
Pleasant Prairie’s Water and Sewer Utilities are operated as enterprise funds. They are called enterprise funds, because they are operated like a business and are not supported by property tax payments. Instead, 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 to more fairly distribute the expenses associated with the service to all who either benefit from or have an impact on the enterprise. If the cost for operating these enterprises was included on your property tax bill, a smaller user (such as a homeowner) could pay the same amount for a service as a major user (such as a manufacturer), despite the fact that a major user uses substantially more of the service. If the cost for operating these enterprises was included on your property tax bill, some properties that are the largest users of a service wouldn’t pay for the service they receive at all, because they are tax exempt.
WATER UTILITY - COMPLETED IN 2013
During 2013, Pleasant Prairie’s Water Utility performed hydrant flushing and valve exercising throughout the Village. Utility staff also located and exposed many mainline valves buried under roadways in order to reduce future service disruptions to customers when repair and maintenance is required. Utility staff continued work to proactively replace old valve bolts with new stainless steel bolts. During 2013, Pleasant Prairie’s Water Utility also hired a financial consulting firm and law firm to respond to the Kenosha Water Utility’s proposed 34% rate increase for Pleasant Prairie. The rate increase was successfully lowered to 10%, leading to an increase of only 3% for water customers.
WATER UTILITY - WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014
On February 3, the Village Board approved the 2014 budget for Pleasant Prairie’s Water Utility. The budget, as approved, will require no increase in water rates during 2014 and will leave the Water Utility with approximately $188,635 in debt and $41,283,782 in assets near the end of 2014. The Utility will continue performing maintenance and updates to the system in efforts to keep it operating safely and as cost effectively as possible. Projects in 2014 will include: upgrading the SCADA programming in the water system to continue monitoring energy usage; reflective painting and marking of fire hydrants (10% per year); exercising all water valves in the Village; inspection of the 93rd Street reservoir booster tank; upgrading 310 additional water meters with a radio read function; and related water meter upgrades.
SEWER UTILITY BACKGROUND
On the last day of 2010, the Pleasant Prairie Sewer Utility retired its remaining sewer treatment plants. The plants were retired according to an agreement made in the late 1980s that secured safe (radium free) drinking water from Lake Michigan for the western half of Pleasant Prairie. Since their retirement, all of the wastewater generated in Pleasant Prairie is transported to the Kenosha Water Utility through many miles of sanitary sewer infrastructure for treatment and its eventual return to Lake Michigan. Throughout a given year, utility employees perform testing and maintenance on more than 110 miles of sewer main and nearly 20 lift stations that help move waste efficiently and safely through the system to the Kenosha Utility.
SEWER UTILITY - COMPLETED IN 2013/WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014
Projects completed by Pleasant Prairie’s Sewer Utility in 2013 include: the design and rebuilding of the Carol Beach Unit 1 lift station; the installation of a new generator at the Carol Beach Unit A lift station; and the relining of a portion of sewer main in the Cooper Road area.
On February 3, the Village Board approved the 2014 budget for the Sewer Utility. The budget, as approved, will require no increase in sewer rates during 2014 and will leave the Sewer Utility with approximately $4,886,813 in debt and $50,032,930 in assets near the end of 2014. The debt incurred by the Sewer Utility is largely related to sewer extension projects completed over the past ten years.
The Utility will continue work to reduce the amount of inflow and infiltration that leaks into the sewer system in efforts to further lower wastewater treatment costs. Projects in 2014 will include: relining the remaining sewer main and manholes in the Cooper Road basin area; rebuilding the 63rd Street lift station; the abandonment of the Heritage Valley lift station; and the repaving a sewer site for improved access during inclement weather. More information related to the 2014 Water and Sewer Utility budgets is available by viewing the February 3 Village board e-packet located here.