Sewer billing to change costs

MONMOUTH — Sewer bills in Monmouth will likely increase, though a few customers will see a decrease, because the way bills are calculated are set to change.

Sewer accounts are assessed a flat monthly fee based on water consumption during the winter months, said Mark Dunmire, finance director, in a memo to the council.

The charges have been calculated using four months — November, December, February and March — and throwing out the highest charge. From that, the average remaining three months multiplied by 12 is how the city has determined a resident’s rate, Dunmire explained.

The city’s new finance software could not calculate the bills using this formula, but can use a similar formula using consecutive months.

The council came to a consensus at its Feb. 7 work session to begin using December, January, February and March for sewer calculations. This will increase some bills by about $9.24 and decrease some by about $9.42.

The new method will increase the sewer fund by about $37,277.44 annually, Dunmire said. Making the switch will save time, he said.

“The city’s current process to update sewer charges requires pulling all consumption history from Caselle (the city’s finance software) and manipulating it manually in Excel,” Dunmire said in the memo. “The process takes about two weeks to complete, and multiple staff are involved. It is an extremely tedious and technical process, and not only requires manipulation in Excel, but an upload to Caselle with a manual verification after.”

With the calculations being done using the software, the entire process can be completed by one person in a couple of hours, Dunmire said.

City employees will bring a resolution back to the council to implement the change.

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