Dunn County Government Center Menomonie city hall

Government Center, 800 Wilson Ave., Menomonie

Utility rate costs for Menomonie residents will remain fairly steady for 2020.

The City of Menomonie council approved budgets for the water, wastewater, solid waste and storm water utilities for next year at its meeting Monday.

Fees for solid waste and recycling could become greater depending on rate increases made by Dunn County.

The solid waste and recycling division for the county is holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss rates and hours of operation for its collection sites to counteract a changing recycling market.

Costs for the city for recycling and solid waste in 2017 was at $48,000 and that has increased to a projected $97,000 for 2020, City Administrator Lowell Prange said. Last year it was just under $72,000.

The county may also remove some of the reductions given to the city because of curbside recycling. The city brings recyclables to the county in a separated state, Prange said.

“They’re facing some challenges with recycling in trying to make that program financially viable in today’s markets,” Prange said of Dunn County solid waste and recycling. “The markets have gone away for recycling so they’re passing that along to the user.”

Prange recommended to the council that the committee meet following a decision from the county to determine changes needed for the new year.

Residents are currently charged $3.60 per month for solid waste disposal and $2.42 a month for recycling services.

Budgets approved for water, wastewater and storm water will keep rates at their 2019 levels.

The city wells pump about 2 million gallons each day and Public Works Director Randy Eide said the city is meeting or exceeding all test parameters set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

On average Menomonie residents pay $42 per year for storm water rates, Eide said. In 2019 there was an increase from $10 to $10.50 from the previous year.

While wastewater utilities won’t see a rate increase in 2020, that could change in 2021, Eide said.

The city is in the design portion of a $9 million improvement project. A small increase is expected to help fund the capital improvements.

“This phase one is taking some of the existing processes — we’re not expanding it we’re just bring them up to code, bring them up to standard, replacing some of the older equipment that is at the plant and making sure that everything is running as it does 24 hours a day.” Eide said.

The city received a grant that will forgive $750,000 of the principal cost that will also include a low interest rate from the state.

The project will also include a second phase that includes phosphorus treatment. The city is required to do this by 2024, Eide said. New standards are that phosphorous measure at fewer than 0.1 parts per million while the current standard is one part per million, he said.

The phase two portion of the project is expected to be planned for 2021 and will cost around $7 million.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16.