MOUNT VERNON — As construction of the hamlet sewer project proceeds, development of the rate structure is also proceeding. Project Manager Jeff Carr of ADR and Associates of Newark updated the Knox County Board of Commissioners Monday on the rates for the Bladensburg portion of the project.
The county previously announced that the basic monthly residential rate in Bladensburg would be $49.89 per month. Carr explained how the rates for other categories of users, such as schools, churches, restaurants and other businesses will be calculated.
By using standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of sewage generated by a restaurant, for example, compares to the basic unit of a single-family residence. That number, known as an “equivalency rate unit” is used to multiply the basic residential rate to generate the amount the restaurant will pay monthly.
Carr explained since not everyone on the sewer system will also be on a water system, sewer rates cannot be calculated based on water usage as is done in most municipal systems. Hence the flat rate and the need to calculate equivalency rate units.
The major factor in calculating the rates is the amount the county has to collect to make its monthly payment on the project debt, plus the cost of operation and maintenance.
Another factor that could affect rates is whether East Knox Local School District decides to close the elementary school in Bladensburg.
“If the school closes, that would impact our system,” Commissioner Allen Stockberger said.
At this time, after deducting the grant amount of $1,078,000 from the project cost of $2,282,592.95, the county will be left with a debt of $1,294,592.95. To pay that off in 20 years, the county will have to collect $6,019 per month.