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Storm Water Utilities Likely to Fall Outside Tax Levy Limits Soon

Storm Water Utilities Likely to Fall Outside Tax Levy Limits Soon

Municipalities may soon be allowed to create storm water utilities without storm water fees counting against their tax levy limits. Pending legislation would declassify storm water management as a covered service, meaning that any new or increased storm water fees would no longer require an offsetting levy deduction. Municipalities that would like to take advantage of the change should prepare themselves to create storm water utilities as soon as possible.

Is a Wheel Tax the Right Option for Your Community?

Is a Wheel Tax the Right Option for Your Community?

Municipalities are constantly looking for ways to fund improvements in local infrastructure. Wheel taxes have been around for more than 50 years, but not many Wisconsin municipalities currently take advantage of them. Could a wheel tax be the right funding option for your community?

How to Explain Water Rate Increases to Customers

How to Explain Water Rate Increases to Customers

The EPA estimates that the US will spend $655 billion to meet our water needs in the next twenty years. More than ever, gaining public buy-in for infrastructure projects is a major concern of water-utility managers. How can your water utility secure your community’s support to properly fund necessary infrastructure projects? Keep reading to learn more.

How to Earn Public Buy-in for Funding Infrastructure

How to Earn Public Buy-in for Funding Infrastructure

The EPA estimates that the US will spend $655 billion to meet our water needs in the next twenty years. More than ever, gaining public buy-in for infrastructure projects is a major concern of water-utility managers. How can your water utility secure your community’s support to properly fund necessary infrastructure projects? Keep reading to learn more.

Financially Smart Water Conservation: An Oxymoron for Utilities?

Financially Smart Water Conservation: An Oxymoron for Utilities?

While improving your utility’s finances through water conservation may seem daunting, in truth it can be as simple as taking proper care of your distribution system. Investing in the inspection, maintenance, and repair of your system can yield great net cost savings, all without reducing sales. Read more to learn how.

Using Water Rate Revenue to Replace Lead Laterals  

Using Water Rate Revenue to Replace Lead Laterals  

Although Wisconsin banned lead in drinking water pipes in 1984, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 176,000 Wisconsin homes receive water through lead pipes. Wisconsin water utilities can now use water rate revenue to replace the customer-owned portion of a lead service line. Allowing utility funding to contribute to these upgrades will improve public health, increase public acceptance of rate increases, and improve compliance with lead limits for drinking water. Continue reading to learn more.

New Restrictions on Impact Fees

New Restrictions on Impact Fees

Recently, the state legislature made sweeping changes to impact fees that will likely impact your municipality and could require you to update your ordinances and/or update your impact-fee studies.

Six Ways Local Communities Expedited Working with the PSC

Six Ways Local Communities Expedited Working with the PSC

Working with the Public Service Commission (PSC) for water rates can be slow and labor-intensive. But don’t worry – there’s still hope. Learn how local communities like yours applied these six best practices to expedite the process and reduce effort.

Best Practices for Working with the PSC

Best Practices for Working with the PSC

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates Wisconsin water utilities. You can’t avoid it. PSC approval is required before utilities can change rates. Navigating PSC regulation requires preparation, planning, and a lot of patience. But sometimes the PSC can be a valuable tool in your toolbox to solve problems.

Finding the Best Way to Recover Sewerage Costs

Finding the Best Way to Recover Sewerage Costs

Many communities discharge sanitary wastewater to treatment plants in other communities. The communities receiving wastewater from neighbors need to find the best way of recovering, and even reducing, the costs of this service.

Plan Your Path to Greater Savings through Transportation Asset Management

Plan Your Path to Greater Savings through Transportation Asset Management

Few expenditures irk taxpayers more than funding “bridges to nowhere,” so municipalities must approach spending on transportation assets with care. Municipalities need to offer clear, convincing arguments as to why such spending is needed and what the benefits are. A transportation asset management plan (TAMP) offers a municipality what they need to justify their expenditures.

Provide Safer Water to Your Residents by Replacing Lead Pipe

Provide Safer Water to Your Residents by Replacing Lead Pipe

Water systems across all fifty states have tested positive for lead contamination that threatens the health of those who drink it, especially young children and pregnant women. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe level of lead, particularly for children. While Wisconsin communities have done a good job of providing safe water, communities can use new legislation to further improve safety.

Law Change Creates Public Fire Protection Recovery Options

Law Change Creates Public Fire Protection Recovery Options

Water utility alert! Due to the recent change to Wis. Stats. §66.0601(2m)(b), you can transfer the public fire protection (PFP) municipal charges to end-use retail customers without having to reduce your municipal levy limit.

IMPACT FEE STUDY LEADS TO NEW FIRE STATION

IMPACT FEE STUDY LEADS TO NEW FIRE STATION

Development drove the need for the City of Oconomowoc to provide new municipal facilities. Impact fees helped them meet the need by providing facilities, such as Fire Station No. 2, to fuel development. 

Learn how Oconomowoc was able to fund facilities to attract development through working with R/M on an impact fee study.

Impact Fees

Impact Fees

Many communities want to grow, but water, wastewater, police, fire, parks, and libraries for new growth are costly. Impact fees fund facilities to attract development and recover the capital cost from new growth.