Rate change approved for Sewer District 3

Meghan Flynn

Finney County Sewer District 3 will see a rate increase to their bill.

The Finney County Commission approved a fee adjustment from $312 to $400 at the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Residents within the district who pay their annual bill during a discount period which ends Oct. 1 are being offered a 10% discount, bringing the fee to $360 rather than the $400.

For residents who do not take advantage of the discount and pay their bill up front, the full $400 will be placed on their tax bill.

This change comes after the commission approved at its annual budget hearing on Aug. 24 a 2 mill increase for the 2021 budget year, taking the mill levy to 6.98 mills.

Finney County Administrator Robert Reece said the increase is necessary for the sewer district to maintain a positive cash flow for operations, debt service and equipment reserves.

The district began struggling with maintaining a positive cash flow at the end of the year in 2017 after improvements had to be made to the district because of operational difficulties.

Additionally, there has been a high rate of payment delinquencies, Reece said.

“There was discussion about doing a monthly billing,” he said. “We are not suggesting doing that at this point in time, we want to allow a little bit of up front time for us to do some outreach in regards to that type of billing process.”

Finney County Clerk Dori Munyan said the pay schedule change couldn’t be done for this year because the clerk’s office needs more time to research and find a tool, such as different software or billing system, to make that possible.