Sheridan sewer rates won’t increase again this year

As phase one of the wastewater treatment project for the town of Sheridan nears completion at the end of this year, residents will be happy to know that sewer rates will not increase from the current monthly rate, said Mayor Dean Derryberry.

The rates increased earlier this year from $40 to $47 per month, which Derryberry explains was mandated by the state and federal funding agencies for the project in order for the town to meet all of its debt obligations for the sewer project as well as finance the ongoing maintenance and operations of the wastewater treatment facility.

“The only thing that could immediately affect the rates, the cost to increase, would be if, for some reason, there were some sort of huge cost increase in the project,” said Derryberry. “Which at this point I just don’t see that happening.”

Phase one of the project involves the construction of three new sewage treatment lagoons and installation of a pump system that will take the treated water and deliver it to a center pivot sprinkler system for irrigation. The second phase of the project, which will start this spring, is to rebuild the existing treatment lagoon to be used as a sludge pond.

Derryberry said that progress for phase one was slightly behind schedule to meet the deadline for completion at the end of this month, but he thought it would be done by the first of the year. Phase two will start up this spring and hope to be completed in July 2013.

The wastewater treatment project dates back to 2007 when the town of Sheridan was ordered by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to improve their wastewater treatment system.

Derryberry is confident that the sewer rates will not increase any more than they have already been mandated.

“That was required of us by our state and federal funding agencies,” he said. “They’re the ones who set the rate, we implemented it and we do not foresee any reason why we’ll have to increase it for quite some time.”

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