Valley News – Lebanon plans round of rate and fee hikes

Published: 12/4/2022 8:48:34 PM

Modified: 12/4/2022 8:48:36 PM

LEBANON — Residents may see higher costs for city services in January, as the Lebanon City Council considers rate increases for water, sewer and waste disposal.

On Wednesday the City Council will hold a series of public hearings to review proposed fee increases to a number of city services, including water and sewer, trash disposal and fire and ambulance services.

The Lebanon landfill is recommending fee increases for resident and commercial waste disposal to offset rising operating costs. These rate changes, if approved, will go into effect Jan. 1.

The landfill proposal includes a commercial rate hike of 3%, from $76.50 per ton to $78.80 per ton and and a residential fee increase of 50 cents for a household bag, from $1.50 per bag to $2 per bag, and a $1 increase for contractor bags, from $3 per bag to $4.

Solid Waste Manager Erica Douglas, at a City Council meeting last month, attributed the higher residential rates to an increase in customer volume, which raises the cost of employee handling and equipment.

If the facility continues to operate at its current fees, the landfill could see a budget shortfall of $163,000 by the end of the current fiscal year, according to a facility report.

The landfill is also proposing higher disposal fees for mattresses, furniture, tires and certain electronic items, such as stereos or solar panels.

The City Council will also consider a proposed 8% water rate increase and a 7.2% increase in sewer rates.

The proposed water and sewer increases are part of a continuing city plan to annually increase the rates to pay off debts from large projects, such as the $75 million court-mandated project to separate sewer pipes and stormwater drains in 15 miles of Lebanon’s sewer system.

Lebanon has approved annual 8% water rate and 7.2% sewer rate increases since 2018, on the recommendation of Massachusetts-based Raftelis Financial Consultants, who projected a total debt on Lebanon’s water and sewer systems of over $5 million by 2023.

The proposal also includes a sewer rental rate hike for the Town of Enfield from $13.48 per 100 cubic feet to $14.45 per 100 cubic feet.

The public hearings will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in Lebanon City Hall. For information on how to participate in the meeting remotely visit the city website at lebanonnh.gov/live.

Patrick Adrian can be reached at padrian@vnews.com or at 603-727-3216.



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