By Catherine Hosman
BERTRAM — Bertram residents will see an increase in their sewer and trash rates beginning with their March bill.
Sewer will increase from a base rate of $18 for the first 2,000 gallons, to $22.50. The additional usage fee of $1.85 per 1,000 gallons will not change.
Trash service will increase from $13.40 per month to $15.90 per month for residential, and from $16.20 per month to $20.75 for commercial. These rates are based on one 96-gallon garbage container.
Evan Milliorn, Bertram City Secretary, said the sewer rates are increasing to finance the wastewater pond expansion and new holding tank for irrigation and effluent discharge service. The project has been on the table for several years and a final cost has not been determined.
“We are doing this with a revenue bond through the United States Department of Agriculture on a 40-year note,” he said. “We should have a good number in the coming weeks.”
Milliorn said the City is in process of closing the loan and the next phase is to discuss “bidding out the project.”
The garbage rate increase is the result of a new contract with Clawson Disposal, which has picked up Bertram’s trash for more than 20 years. Milliorn said the contract has not been revisited since it went into effect in 2006. There will be no change in service.
Reasons for the increase in trash service are due to higher costs across the board including the price of diesel, as well as added service for new residents and businesses, he said.
“For new residents who need to set up an account, the cost is the same,” Milliorn said.
New residents to Bertram will pay a $150 deposit and a one-time $30 service fee. This includes sewer, trash and water service.