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Letter to the Editor: Services not received

Here's an idea of where to apply sewer availability charge fees

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I attended the April 6 Pequot council meeting after being told I had to pay a $2,000 fee to connect to the existing sewer line in the street and then told my $2,000 goes into a fund called “SAC,” a fund set aside for the city for future water and sewer projects. But this SAC money comes only from new hookups, such as my $2,000.

I asked if the city and its residents all benefit from this SAC, why isn’t everyone kicking in? No explanation except city policy says only new hookups pay - $2,000 for water, $2,000 for sewer.

I paid $6,000 to a contractor for installation in addition to the $2,000 SAC fee.

To offset this, I suggested summer city sewer rates be based on winter rates, when all wastewater goes down the sewer.

This summer, everyone’s water usage went up every time outside faucets were used for lawns, gardens, flowers, washing cars, etc. - 100% of that went into the ground. Pequot residents paid for sewer services never received.

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I suggested this money be applied toward the SAC fund so the next new homeowner doesn’t have to dig quite so deep for the privilege of moving into the city. Leaves little incentive.

Example: An early spring commitment of 10 yards of black dirt and seed forced me to water in June. My June water and sewer bill was $174.25. Of this, my sewer bill was $98.80. My winter monthly average is $27.03.

The council said they would give some thought on sewer billing and funding the SAC fund with summer sewer services not received and would get back to me.

If your sewer bills were high this summer, remember you were most likely paying for services you weren’t receiving.

Jack Schmidt,

Pequot Lakes

(Editor’s note: Pequot Lakes City Administrator Rich Spiczka said the sewer availability charge and water availability charge - or SAC and WAC - rates have been in effect since August 2017. WAC and SAC fees are generally used to cover costs of the increased demand on the system with an additional user as the system may need expansion, improvement or replacement.)

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