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City Of Salem Looking To Renovate Aging Water Treatment System
Updated March 8, 2017 10:37 AM
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(SALEM) - The City of Salem is looking at an $11 million project to renovate its aging water treatment system and to do that it needs to increase the average water bill by around 7 dollars.

Mayor Troy Merry wants to divide that increase up over three years. Merry says the topic will come up at the regular city meetings in March for discussion. He also noted that Salem's trash pickup fee would likely be raised as well.

He indicated no sewer rates would be affected.

"We went to get a grant to pay for this and we were told we couldn't get a grant because our rates were too low," says Mayor Merry. "Our current average water bill is about $18."

At the same time, Merry would also like to raise the trash rates, which have been $5.50 per month since Frank Newkirk Sr. was last in office in the early 90s.

"I looked at other communities on the cost of trash pickup," said Merry. "The mayor almost fell out in the floor when I told him what our rate was. Their rate was $11 plus $25 for additional items carted off."

With the $1 increase in trash and the water increase, the average Salem customer with a $20 water bill would see an extra $7.70 increase.

On the extreme for residential customers, a $50 water bill would see an extra $18.50 per month.

The increase would add an extra $579,000 for the water department on an annual basis.

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