Vergennes to make switch to quarterly sewer billing

VERGENNES — The city of Vergennes will change how it sends out sewer bills. In the upcoming fiscal year, homeowners will receive their sewer bills quarterly along with their tax bills.
Aldermen at a March 22 meeting agreed with City Manager Mel Hawley and City Clerk Joan Devine that such a change in when bills are sent would be more efficient and save the city money in the long run. They also said that for most homeowners it would be easier to make quarterly payments of $87.50 rather than two semi-annual payments of $175.
One of those $175 payments is already due in November along with a tax payment, Hawley noted.
Hawley also said the grace period city officials adopted in 2010 would make it easier for homeowners to make payments twice a year when taxes and sewer bills were due at the same time.
Hawley said he first considered making the billing switch after Vergennes-Panton Water District officials in January hiked rates from roughly $43 to $92 per quarter. That raise, the first in years, was put in place to pay for improvements to the district’s Lake Champlain water treatment plant in Panton.
“I was looking for a way to soften those two months out of the year (when all the payments coincided),” Hawley said.
Reporter Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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