The New London City Council officially changed an ordinance reducing rates for septic haulers at its April 14 meeting.
The Board of Public Works approved reducing the rates in March, but learned afterward that the fee ordinance needed changing to make it official.
Wastewater treatment plant operator Ben Greuel recommended the reduction last fall as a way to increase usage and generate revenue at the plant.
He reported that with the Saputo plant shutdown, the plant was currently overdesigned.
New London’s WWTP handled an average of one million gallons of industrial and domestic waste per day when Saputo was operating, with a capacity for two million gallons, and a peak volume capable of four million gallons.
Gruel was instructed to investigate the possibilities and contact area haulers regarding rates they paid elsewhere. Adjustments were also made in the times that the plant would accept waste from haulers.
One hauler that he contacted hauls approximately 60 million gallons of waste annually to plants in the Fox Valley. Gruel said approximately one-third of that waste is generated in the greater New London area.
“If we lower the rates by half of what we currently charge, we will most likely increase our incoming waste dramatically if we received 10 to 20 million gallons a year from just one hauler,” said Greuel at the December meeting.
The fee change could result in $200,000 of increased revenue over one year for the receiving station.
Greuel also said the plant would likely see other benefits from handling the increased waste.
In March, Board of Public Works members asked Greuel if the number of haulers increased since experimenting with the increased hours, and reduced fees. He said that four extra haulers were using the plant.
Alderman Tom O’Connell said, “This will really help us recover the loss from Saputo.”
Mayor Gary Henke agreed.
Alderman Mike Barrington made a motion to waive the rules and adopt the changes to Ordinance No. 1311 in one reading. Alderman Ron Steinhorst seconded and the motion and it carried unanimously. Barrington then made a motion to change the ordinance and council member Lori Dean seconded the motion. It passed 10-0.
The cost for haulers delivering waste with less than 2,000 mg per liter of solids was reduced from $14.50 per thousand gallons to $8.25 per thousand. The cost for waste tested at greater than 2,000 mg liter solids was reduced from $39.88 per thousand to $20. The ordinance change also reduced the annual licensed holding tank and septic tank hauler permit fee from $35 to $15.