Edgecomb will set new sewer rates Nov. 18

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 2:00pm

On Monday, Nov. 18, Edgecomb residents will learn the new rate for using the town’s sewer system.

Edgecomb selectmen agreed Nov. 4 to set the new rate in response to a recent increase from Wiscasset, which processes wastewater for about 65 residents in the Davis Island area.

Meeting with selectmen Monday, Wiscasset Water District Superintendent Chris Cossette reminded them WWD administers the billing and collection for Edgecomb but does not set the wastewater rate.

Wastewater fees charged to the town recently increased 14%, from $27.36 per 300 cubic feet to $31.20 per 300 cubic feet, to coincide with an increase for Wiscasset users.

As a result, Edgecomb is now faced with addressing the difference between the amount currently paid by its residents and the amount billed to it by Wiscasset.

Cossette said he had reviewed recent bills for wastewater in Edgecomb and in October the usage was 37,800 cubic feet, resulting in a bill of $3,774.90, which reflects the new rate charged by Wiscasset. Because Edgecomb has not yet raised its rates, it only received $2,713.80 in October from residents using the system. The town will need to make up the $1,061.10 difference.    

According to the town’s annual report for the year ended June 30, 2018, Edgecomb’s wastewater department had operating expenses of $32,598.75, a net income of $4,037.65 and a cash balance of $107,680.10.               

Selectmen agreed to set the new sewer rate at their next meeting on Nov. 18 and have tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the topic for Dec. 2.

Cossette updated the board on WWD’s recently completed projects and 5 Rivers Regional Waters Council. “We will continue to provide safe quality water and fire protection needs to the community,” he said.

The board also voted to approve a design for a new town brochure. The brochure design is funded by a grant and endorsed by a committee of residents who worked with designer Samantha Hinman. The committee will now obtain bids for printing.

EMA Director Bill Witzell asked selectmen to approve a $45 per month fee to fund a data plan for a tablet that has been given to Edgecomb EMA for use in emergencies. The tablet was funded by a grant and provided by Lincoln County to each local director.

The device has D4H software which allows local agencies — fire, ambulance and others — to operate together identifying issues in each town, like downed trees or wires. The software combines individual town reports into a database of issues county-wide and will help ensure that emergency resources work together in responding. Selectmen asked Witzell to look into competitive rates for the data plan.

Edgecomb voters will be greeted with daffodil bulbs to plant when they vote on Tuesday, Town Clerk Claudia Coffin reported. The daffodils commemorate the 100th anniversary of Maine ratifying the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. Coffin has arranged for bulbs and trowels to be available to voters on Tuesday so they can plant a daffodil if they wish and see the tribute bloom next spring.  

The fire department reported it responded to 25 calls for service in October, including nine for medical assistance, three motor vehicle accidents, five alarms, six traffic control and road issues and two fires.

Selectman Mike Smith noted there will be a public meeting at 10 a.m. Dec. 2 at Edgecomb Eddy School to identify things the town needs to accomplish.