The Swansea Board of Trustees on Monday approved an ordinance that would enable it to directly bill and collect money from nonresidents for using the village's wastewater treatment services.
Under the new ordinance passed by trustees Monday, nonresidents will be billed 1.5 times the current village fee user rate, which will be billed by the village. Tap-in fees for new users outside the village limits will be charged 2.0 times the current tap-in fee schedule. For 6,000 gallons of sewage, the sewage rate in Swansea is $32.24.
The village has gone back and forth with St. Clair County Township since the new plant opened in 2010 about how much the township should pay the village for services provided to township residents without much progress.
The village has asked the township to pay for its 3,030 residents, which make up one-third of the sewer's customers. This means the township would pay the village about $1 million a year to cover the construction cost of the new plant, ongoing usage and operations over time. When the village and the township entered into a 15-year sewer use contract in 1995, the township had 1,882 users. Once the 15 years had passed, the village and township had the option to continue the contract for five-year periods until it was terminated with a letter of notice. In 2011, the village sent the township a notice of termination of the sewage service contract. Under the contract, the township collects money from its residents and pays Swansea for services. The contract expires in 2015.
The ordinance goes into effect immediately, however, the ordinance states that it will begin billing nonresident users "in the near future."