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Classifying and Calculating Sewer Usage in Page

July 10
15:11 2014

In a meeting held on July 8th, Page City Council and the Page Utility Enterprises Board came together to try and construct the classification of businesses in Page when it comes to calculating sewer usage.

Sewer CoverUnder the current classification, PUE says there is a lot of disparity regarding who pays as a commercial account, and who pays as a residential account. They noted that many businesses already have a commercial account when paying electric, but that the inconsistencies in the sewer classification create what looks like a favorable preference to some businesses. For example, one apartment complex might be currently classified as residential, while another is classified as commercial. The actual rate for both accounts is the same, but how the usage is calculated is different.

Residential sewer usage is calculated as an average during the winter months — PUE monitors usage between November and March, takes the average of the lowest three months in that time period, and uses that figure to determine usage.

Commercial sewer accounts are calculated based on their actual monthly usage.

Because no current regulations exist to determine who falls under which account, PUE drafted a proposed regulation to present to City Council, while asking for their input and suggestions. The drafted regulation proposed that the following entities be classified as commercial: Churches, schools, apartment offices, trailer park offices, museums, non-profits, group homes, vacation home rentals, accounts serving multiple residences such as duplex apartments, trailer parks, or any use not specifically residential.

After discussion between the Board and City Council, in which Council members expressed concerns over whether entities such as non-profits and churches should be classified as commercial, the Council ultimately left the decision in the hands of the PUE Board.

In a Board meeting immediately following the workshop, PUE listened to the concerns of Page citizens and business owners, and after a short discussion, decided to table the issue until new regulation can be officially written; possibly giving exclusion to multi-family four-plexes and smaller, churches, and non-profits. PUE also stated that they would be issuing corrections to approximately 36 bills that had already been sent out with the new classification for this month.

The next PUE Board meeting will take place on August 12th at 5:30 P.M.

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