By Rick Dandes

The Daily Item

MILTON — The Milton Regional Sewer Authority board of directors voted 6-1 on Wednesday to raise sewer rates for its customers beginning July 1.

The increase is based on recommendations made by the board's Budget and Finance Committee, which undertook a four-month-long study to review the authority's present revenue sources and expenses and project future sources of revenue, operating expenses and debt service requirements.

The changes approved by the directors are as follows: rates for the first 2,400 gallons per month will increase from $15 to $17. The cost of each additional 1,000 gallons per month rises to $3.50 from $3.25. Gallons in excess of 1,000,000 remain at $3.25.

The flat rate per month will increase by $2, to $20, and the cost of trucked in waste per gallon will be 5 cents, a one-cent increase.

The most significant aspect of the rate increase is that all customers, including Milton borough residents and ConAgra, will now be paying an allocated portion of the debt service needed for the purchase of the wastewater treatment facility and recent necessary capital investments made by the MRSA.

Borough customers will be charged $7.50 in debt service charges. Previously, customers had not been charged.

Debt service charges for Con Agra, will be 55 cents per 1,000 gallons. Before July 1, Con Agra was not charged.

Old Farm Lane and Astro Village debt service charges will remain at $15. West Chillisquaque Township customer charges will hold at $30, with no increase.

Potts Grove charges will increase from $50 to $53.

Another reason for the increases, said board directors in a written statement, were the cost increases for repairs to the existing, aging sewer infrastructure, including sewer lines, pumping stations and maintenance of both its wastewater treatment plants.

The last sewer rate increase was in 2005, when the minimum monthly rate was increased by $1.36.

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