In what may seem like an historic move to some, Chadds Ford Township has lowered its sewer rates for the first time in over a decade.
At a special meeting held on Tuesday, June 18, the sewer authority voted unanimously to drop the existing sewer rates effective as of July 1.
The rate for a single family home to connect to the township owner system is now $195 per quarter, down $15, while the rate for a multi-family dwelling is reduced to $137 over quarter, down $10.
According to a press release issued by the township, the rate reduction was made because the authority believes that additional increases in the rates may be necessary in the future to keep up with operating costs and depreciating infrastructure.
Authority manager Judy Lizza said that there was nothing particularly wrong with either the Ridings or Turner's Mill plants; rather, the authority members are aware of time and wear of the equipment.
'It's just the reality of the depreciation of assets,' she said. 'It's not a 'doom-and-gloom' prediction. The authority has worked very hard to maintain a balance budget.'
Lizzo said that the authority had initially asked township engineer, Pennoni Associates, to perform an evaluation of user rates and system costs, which resulted in an analysis, dated May 17, that called for a rate reduction.
A reduction in commercial rates, however, was not considered because of the 'complexity and therefore expense' of commercial connections, according to the press release.
'When the general costs of everything are increasing, and government agencies seem to never reduce taxes or charges, Chadds Ford Township and the sewer authority hope residents recognize the value of cost-efficient management,' said authority chairman Marc Altman. 'The efforts of previous sewer authority chairs Vince DelRossi, Keith Klaver, James Egan and especially my immediate predecessor Pete Forrest made this reduction possible.'
Lizza said that although the authority recognizes that the reduction isn't permanent, it was not put in place with any particular limitations.
'It's not a ploy, it was a real financial decision,' she said.
Rates have not been adjusted in the township since the completion of the Turner's Mill plant in 2006, according to Lizzo.
For more information on the rate or to view the user rate analysis, visit www.chaddsfordpa.gov.